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i'j{iy<KT<)y. -V. ./. 

No. ('as,. SClC ' 
No. Shelf. ^,A7-|,ll^ 

No. Book', 




M.A., F.R.S., 























H. H. WILSON, M.A, F.R.S, 




~ M. A., D.C.L. OXON. 


* 1864, 















Feb. 10, 1840. 


The Editor defers till the completion of his under- 
taking any general remarks that he may have to offer. 


1 HE literature of the Hindus has now been cultivated, 
for many years, with singular diligence, and, in many 
of its branches, with eminent success. There are some 
departments, however, which are yet but partially and 
imperfectly investigated; and we are far from being 
in possession of that knowledge which the authentic 
writings of the Hindus alone can give us of their re- 
ligion, mythology, and historical traditions. 

From the materials to which we have hitherto had 
access, it seems probable that there have been three 
principal forms in which the religion of the Hindus 
has existed, at as many different periods. The duration 
of those periods, the circumstances of their succession, 
and the precise state of the national faith at each season, 
it is not possible to trace with any approach to accu- 
racy. The premises have been too imperfectly deter- 
mined to authorize other than conclusions of a general 
and somewhat vague description; and those remain to 
be hereafter confirmed, or corrected, by more extensive 
and satisfactory research. 

The earliest form under which the Hindu religion 
appears is that taught in the Vedas. The style of the 
language, and the purport of the composition, of those 


works, as far as we are acquainted with them, indicate 
a date long anterior to that of any other class of Sans- 
krit writings. It is yet, however, scarcely safe to ad- 
vance an opinion of the precise belief, or philosophy, 
which they inculcate. To enable us to judge of their 
tendency, we have only a general sketch of their ar- 
rangement and contents, with a few extracts, by Mr. 
Colebrooke, in the Asiatic Researches;^ a few incidental 
observations by Mr. Ellis, in the same miscellany;^ and 
a translation of the first book of the Samhita, or col- 
lection of the prayers of the Rig-veda, by Dr. Rosen;' 
and some of the Upanishads, or speculative treatises, 
attached to, rather than part of, the Vedas, by Ram- 
mohun Roy.^""'" Of the religion taught in the Vedas, 
Mr. Colebrooke's opinion will probably be received as 
that which is best entitled to deference; as, certainly, 
no Sanskrit scholar has been equally conversant with 
the original works. "The real doctrine of the whole 
Indian scripture is the unity of the deity, in whom the 

' Vol. VIIL, p. 369. t 2 Vol. XIV., p. 37. 

^ Published by the Oriental Translation Fund Committee. 

* A translation of the principal Upanishads was published, 
under the title of Oupnekhat, or Theologia Indica, by Anquetil 
du Perron; but it was made through the medium of the Persian, 
and is very incorrect and obscure., A translation of a very dif- 
ferent character t has been some time in course of preparation 
by M. Poley. 

To insert here a list of the numerous publications bearing on the 
Vedas, that have appeared since the date of this preface, 1840, would 
be beside the purpose of my notes. 

f Reprinted in Colebrooke's Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. I., pp. 9-113. 

* The kindness of Professor Wilson here mistook a hope for a reality. 


universe is comprehended; and the seeming polytheism 
which it exhibits offers the elements, and the stars 
and planets, as gods. The three principal manifesta- 
tions of the divinity, with other personified attributes 
and energies, and most of the other gods of Hindu 
mythology, are, indeed, mentioned, or, at least, indi- 
cated, in the Vedas. But the worship of deified heroes 
is no part of that system; nor are the incarnations of 
deities suggested in any other portion of the text which 
I have yet seen; though such are sometimes hinted at 
by the commentators." ^ Some of these statements may, 
perhaps, require modification; for, without a careful 
examination of all the prayers of the Vedas, it would 
be hazardous to assert that they contain no indication 
whatever of hero-worship; and, certainly, they do ap- 
pear to allude, occasionally, to the Avataras, or incar- 
nations, of Vishnu. Still, however, it is true that the 
prevailing character of the ritual of the Vedas is the 
worship of the personified elements; of Agni or fire; 
Indra, the firmament; Vayu, the air; Varuna, the water; 
of Aditya, the sun; Soma, the moon; and other ele- 
mentary and planetary personages. It is also true that 
the worship of the Vedas is, for the most part, domestic 
worship, consisting of prayers and oblations offered — 
in their own houses, not in temples — by individuals, 
for individual good, and addressed to unreal presences, 
not to visible types. In a word, the religion of the 
Vedas was not idolatry. 

' As. Res., Vol. VIIL, p. 474." 

* Or Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. I., pp. 110 and 111. 



It is not possible to conjecture when this more simple 
and primitive form of adoration was succeeded by the 
worship of images and types, representing Brahma, 
Vishnu, Siva, and other imaginary beings, constituting 
a mythological pantheon of most ample extent; or 
when Rama and Krishna, who appear to have been, 
originally, real and historical characters, were elevated 
to the dignity of divinities. Image-worship is alluded 
to by Manu, in several passages,^ but with an intima- 
tion that those Brahmans who subsist by ministering 
in temples are an inferior and degraded class. The 
story of the Ramayana and Mahabhtirata turns wholly 
upon the doctrine of incarnations; all the chief dramatis 
personse of the poems being impersonations of gods, 
and demigods, and celestial spirits. The ritual appears 
to be that of the Vedas; and it may be doubted if any 
allusion to image-worship occurs. But the doctrine of 
propitiation by penance and praise prevails throughout; 
and Vishnu and Siva are the especial objects of pane- 
gyric and invocation. In these two works, then, we 
trace unequivocal indications of a departure from the 
elemental worship of the Vedas, and the origin or elab- 
oration of legends which form the great body of the 
mythological religion of the Hindus. How far they 
only improved upon the cosmogony and chronology 
of their predecessors, or in what degree the traditions 
of families and dynasties may originate with them, are 
questions that can only be determined when the Vedas 
and the two works in question shall have been more 
thoroughly examined. 

' B. III., 152, 164. B. IV., 214. 


The different works known by the name of Puranas 
are evidently derived from the same religious system 
as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, or from the mytho- 
heroic stage of Hindu belief. They present, however, 
peculiarities which designate their belonging to a later 
period, and to an important modification in the pro- 
gress of opinion. They repeat the theoretical cosmo- 
gony of the two great poems; they expand and sys- 
tematize the chronological computations; and they give 
a more definite and connected representation of the 
mythological fictions and the historical traditions. But, 
besides these and other particulars, which may be 
derivable from an old, if not from a primitive, era, 
they offer characteristic peculiarities of a more modern 
description, in the paramount importance which they 
assign to individual divinities, in the variety and pur- 
port of the rites and observances addressed to them, 
and in the invention of new legends illustrative of the 
power and graciousness of those deities, and of the 
efficacy of implicit devotion to them. Siva and Vishnu, 
under one or other form, are almost the sole objects 
that claim the homage of the Hindus, in the Puranas; 
departing from the domestic and elemental ritual of 
the Vedas, and exhibiting a sectarial fervour and ex- 
clusiveness not traceable in the Ramayana, and only 
to a qualified extent in the Mahabharata. They are no 
longer authorities for Hindu belief, as a whole: they 
are special guides for separate and, sometimes, con- 
flicting branches of it; compiled for the evident pur- 
pose of promoting the preferential, or, in some cases, 
the sole, worship of Vishnu, or of Siva. ^ 

' Besides the three periods marked by the Vedas, Heroic 


That the Puranas always bore the character here 
given of them may admit of reasonable doubt: that it 
correctly applies to them as they now are met with, 
the following pages will irrefragably substantiate. It 
is possible, however, that there may have been an 
earlier class of Puranas, of which those we now have 
are but the partial and adulterated representatives. 
The identity of the legends in many of them, and, still 
more, the identity of the words — for, in several of them, 
long passages are literally the same — is a sufficient 
proof that, in all such cases, they must be copied either 
from some other similar work, or from a common and 
prior original. It is not unusual, also, for a fact to be 
stated upon the authority of an 'old stanza', w^hicli is 
cited accordingly; show^ing the existence of an earlier 
source of information: and, in very many instances, 
legends are alluded to, not told; evincing acquaintance 
with their prior narration somewhere else. The name 
itself, Purana, which implies 'old', indicates the object 
of the compilation to be the preservation of ancient 
traditions; a purpose, in the present condition of the 
Puranas, very imperfectly fulfilled. Whatever weight 
may be attached to these considerations, there is no 
disputing evidence to the like effect, afforded by other 
and unquestionable authority. The description given, 
by Mr. Colebrooke,^ of the contents of a Purana is 

Poems, and Puranas, a fourth may be dated from the influence 
exercised by the Tantras upon Hindu practice and belief: but we 
are yet too little acquainted Avith those works, or their origin, to 
speculate safely upon their consequences. 
' As. Res., Vol. VII., p. 202.* 

• Or Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. 11., pp. 4 and 5, foot-note. 


taken from Sanskrit writers. The Lexicon of Amara 
Sin'iha gives, as a synonym of Parana, Pancha-laksliana, 
'that which has five characteristic topics'; and there is 
no difference of opinion, amongst the schoUasts, as to 
what these are. They are, as Mr. Colebrooke mentions: 
I. Primary creation, or cosmogony; 11. Secondary cre- 
ation, or the destruction and renovation of worlds, 
including chronology; III. Genealogy of gods and 
patriarchs; IV. Reigns of the Manus, or periods called 
Manwantaras; and, V. History, or such particulars as 
have been preserved of the princes of the solar and 
lunar races, and of their descendants to modern times. ^ 
Such, at any rate, were the constituent and character- 
istic portions of a Purana, in the days of Amara Sihiha,* 
fifty-six years before the Christian era;f and, if the 

' The following definition of a Purana is constantly quoted: 
it is found in the Vishnu, Matsya, Vayu, and other Purarias: 

A variation of reading in the beginning of the second line is 
noticed by Ramasrama, the scholiast on Amara, WJfTf^^WT'f^ 
'Destruction of the earth and the rest, or final dissolution;' in 
which case the genealogies of heroes and princes are comprised 
in those of the patriarchs. 

t That Amarasiiiiha lived at that time, though possible, has not been 
proved. Professor Wilson — Sanskrit Dictionary, first edition, Preface, 
p, V. — asserts that "all tradition concurs in enumerating him amongst 
the learned men who, in the metaphorical phraseology of the Hindus, 
are denominated the 'nine gems' of the court of Vikramaditya. * * * 
Authorities which assert the contemporary existence of Amara and Vi- 
kramaditya might be indefinitely multiplied; and those are equally nu- 
merous which class him amongst the 'nine gems'.'' In the second 


Puranas had undergone no change since his time, such 
we should expect to find them still. Do they conform 

edition of his Dictionary, under the ■word •T'^7!?^) the Professor explains 
the "nine gems" to be: "The nine men of letters at the court of Vikra- 
maditya, or, Dhanwantari, Kshapanaka, Amarasiiiiha, Sanku, Vetalabhat't'a, 
Ghat'akarpara , Kalidasa, Varahamihira, and Yararuchi." The tradition 
about these ornaments he thinks — Meghadiita , second edition, Preface, 
p. V. — to be one of those regarding -which "there is no reason to dispute 
the truth." 

The "authorities" spoken of in the first of the preceding extracts are 
not specified by Professor Wilson; and they are not known to have 
fallen yet in the way of any one else. Those authorities apart, he ad- 
duces a stanza about the "nine gems", of which he says, that it "appears 
in a great measure traditionary only; as I have not been able to trace 
it to any authentic source, although it is in the mouth of every Pandit, 
when interrogated on the subject." 

The stanza in question occurs in the Jyotirvkldhharana , near its con- 
clusion, where we find the following verses: 

^#^ f^^TT^TT^ ^»n^^^ II 
^^T^TT^nRfTTn^^^TTt^fr: i 
^^■Rm^T^^^r^c^^T t^t^t: ii 

T(^Tf^ % ^-^T^^^ f^^^ II 

* 'A •!{- * -sf « * * 

■Sf -A- * * * « * * 

•if "JI- -if -Sf -sf ^ -Jf # 
•}{• -Jf "Jf "Jf vf -Sf 'Jf '5f 


to this description? Not exactly, in any one instance; 
to some of them it is utterly inapplicable; to others it 
only partially applies. There is not one to which it 
belongs so entirely as to the Vishnu Purana; and it is 
one of the circumstances which gives to this work a 

i?nf7if^^: ^^R^x^ ^TTf^fr: i 

%-^Tgf ^TT^i^T f^^ ^Tt^T^: II 

^%' ^^^m^TlfHT^ f^tf fTT wrfTlf^^ lftcl% II 

Here we see named, as contemporaries at the court of Vikramaditya, 
lord of Malava, in the year 3068 of the Kali age, or B. C. 33: Mani, 
Aiiisudatta, Jishi'iii, Trilochana, and Ilari ; also Satya, Srutasena, Badara- 
yai'ia, Maiiittha, and Kiimarasiiiiha, astronomers; and the "nine gems" 
already particularized. 

The writer of the Jyotirviddbharaiia is represented as professing to be 
one with the author of the Raghiwaihsa. As to Vikramaditya, 180 re- 
gions are said to have been subject to his sway. Further, according to 
some verses of which I have not quoted the original , there were 800 
viceroys subordinate to him, of picked warriors he had ten millions, and 
he possessed 400,000 boats. His victims in battle, among Sakas alone, 
are multiplied to the whimsical aggregate of 555,555,555. These de- 
stroyed, he established his era. 

There is every reason for believing the Jjjotirviddbharaiki to be not 
only pseudonymous but of recent composition. And now we are pre- 
pared to form an opinion touching the credibility of the tradition, so far 
as yet traced, which concerns the "nine gems" of Vikramaditya. 

In the Benares Magazine for 1852, pp. 274-276, I first printed and 
translated the verses just cited and abstracted. A detailed English version 
of them has been given by the learned Dr. Bhau Daji, in the Journal of 
the Bombay Branch of the Royal As. Soc, January, 1862, pp./26 and 27. 


more authentic character than most of its fellows can 
pretend to. Yet, even in this instance, we have a book 
upon the institutes of society and obsequial rites inter- 
posed between the Manwantaras and the genealogies 
of princes; and a life of Krishna, separating the latter 
from an account of the end of the world ; besides the 
insertion of various legends of a manifestly popular 
and sectarial character. No doubt, many of the Pu- 
ranas, as they now are, correspond with the view 
which Colonel Vans Kennedy takes of their purport. 
"I cannot discover, in them," he remarks, "any other 
object than that of religious instruction." "The de- 
scription of the earth and of the planetary system, and 
the lists of royal races that occur in them," he asserts 
to be "evidently extraneous, and not essential circum- 
stances; as they are omitted in some Purahas, and very 
concisely illustrated, in others; while, on the contrary, 
in all the Puranas, some or other of the leading prin- 
ciples, rites, and observances of the Hindu religion are 
fully dwelt upon, and illustrated, either by suitable 
legends, or by prescribing the ceremonies to be prac- 
tised, and the prayers and invocations to be employed, 
in the worship of different deities."^ Now, however 
accurate this description may be of the Puranas as they 
are, it is clear that it does not apply to what they were 
when they were synonymously designated as Pancha- 
lakshanas or 'treatises on live topics'; not one of which 
five is ever specified, by text or comment, to be "re- 
ligious instruction". In the knowledge of Amara Simha, 

' Researches into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient and 
Hindu Mythology, p. 153, and note. 


the lists of princes were not extraneous and unessential; 
and their being now so considered by a writer so well 
acquainted with the contents of the Puranas as Colonel 
Vans Kennedy, is a decisive proof that, since the days 
of the lexicographer, they have undergone some mate- 
rial alteration, and that we have not, at present, the 
same works, in all respects, that were current, under 
the denomination of Puranas, in the century prior to 

The inference deduced from the discrepancy be- 
tween the actual form and the older definition of a 
Purana, unfavourable to the antiquity of the extant 
works generally, is converted into certainty, when we 
come to examine them in detail. For, although they 
have no dates attached to them, yet circumstances are 
sometimes mentioned, or alluded to, or references to 
authorities are made, or legends are narrated, or places 
are particularized, of which the comparatively recent 
date is indisputable, and which enforce a corresponding 
reduction of the antiquity of the work in which they 
are discovered. At the same time, they may be ac- 
quitted of subservience to any but sectarial imposture. 
They were pious frauds for temporary purposes: they 
never emanated from any impossible combination of 
the Brahmans to fabricate for the antiquity of the en- 
tire Hindu system any claims which it cannot fully 
support. A very great portion of the contents of many, 
some portion of the contents of all, is genuine and old. 
The sectarial interpolation, or embellishment, is always 
sufficiently palpable to be set aside without injury to 
the more authentic and primitive material; and the 
Puranas, although they belong especially to that stage 


of the Hindu religion in which faith in some one di- 
vinity was the prevaihng principle, are, also, a valuable 
record of the form of Hindu belief which came next 
in order to that of the Vedas; which grafted hero- 
worship upon the simpler ritual of the latter; and which 
had been adopted, and was extensively, perhaps uni- 
versally, established in India, at the time of the Greek 
invasion. The Hercules of the Greek writers was, in- 
dubitably, the Balarama of the Hindus; and their no- 
tices of Mathura on the Jumna, and of the kingdom 
of the Suraseni and the Pandaean country, evidence 
the prior currency of the traditions which constitute 
the argument of the Mahabharata, and which are con- 
stantly repeated in the Puranas, relating to the Pah- 
dava and Yadava races, to Krishna and his contem- 
porary heroes, and to the dynasties of the solar and 
lunar kings. 

The theogony and cosmogony of the Puranas may, 
probably, be traced to the Vedas. They are not, as 
far as is yet known, described in detail in those works; 
but they are frequently alluded to, in a strain more or 
less mystical and obscure, which indicates acquaintance 
with their existence, and which seems to have supplied 
the Puranas with the groundwork of their systems. 
The scheme of primary or elementary creation they 
borrow from the Sankhya philosophy, which is, pro- 
bably, one of the oldest forms of speculation on man 
and nature, amongst the Hindus. Agreeably, however, 
to that part of the Pauranik character which there is 
reason to suspect of later origin, their inculcation of 
the worship of a favourite deity, they combine the 
interposition of a creator with the independent evolu- 


tlon of matter, in a somewhat contradictory and unin- 
telligible style. It is evident, too, that their accounts 
of secondary creation, or the development of the exist- 
ing forms of things, and the disposition of the universe, 
are derived from several and different sources; and it 
appears very likely that they are to be accused of some 
of the incongruities and absurdities by which the nar- 
rative is disfigured, in consequence of having attempted 
to assign reality and significancy to what was merely 
metaphor or mysticism. There is, however, amidst the 
unnecessary complexity of the description, a general 
agreement, amongst them, as to the origin of things 
and their final distribution; and, in many of the circum- 
stances, there is a striking concurrence with the ideas 
which seem to have pervaded the whole of the ancient 
world, and which we may, therefore, believe to be faith- 
fully represented in the Puranas. 

The pantheism of the Puranas is one of their in- 
variable characteristics; although the particular divinity 
who is all things, from whom all things proceed, and 
to whom all things return, be diversified according to 
their individual sectarial bias. They seem to have de- 
rived the notion from the Vedas; but, in them, the 
one universal Being is of a higher order than a per- 
sonification of attributes or elements, and, however 
imperfectly conceived, or unworthily described, is God. 
In the Puranas, the one only Supreme Being is sup- 
posed to be manifest in the person of Siva, or Vishnu, 
either in the way of illusion, or hi sport; and one or 
other of these divinities is, therefore, also the cause of 
all that is, — is, himself, all that exists. The identity of 
God and nature is not a new notion: it was very general 


in the speculations of antiquity; but it assumed a new 
vigour in the early ages of Christianity, and was carried 
to an equal pitch of extravagance by the Platonic 
Christians as by the Saiva or Vaishhava Hindus. It 
seems not impossible that there was some communi- 
cation between them. We know that there was an 
active communication between India and the Red Sea, 
in the early ages of the Christian era, and that doc- 
trines, as well as articles of merchandise, were brought 
to Alexandria from the former. Epiphanius^ and Eu- 
sebius^ accuse Scythianus of having imported from 
India, in the second century, books on magic, and he- 
retical notions leading to Manichajism; and it was at 
the same period that Ammonius Saccas instituted the 
sect of the new Platonists at Alexandria. The basis of 
his heresy was, that true philosophy derived its origin 
from the eastern nations. His doctrine of the identity 
of God and the universe is that of the Vedas and Pu- 
ranas; and the practices he enjoined, as well as their 
object, were precisely those described in several of the 
Purahas, under the name of Yoga. His disciples M-^ere 
taught to extenuate, by mortification and contempla- 
tion, the bodily restraints upon the immortal spirit; 
so that, in this life, they might enjoy communion with 
the Supreme Being, and ascend, after death, to the 
universal Parent.^ That these are Hindu tenets, the 
following pages ^ will testify; and, by the admission of 
their Alexandrian teacher, they originated in India. 
The importation was, perhaps, not wholly unrequited: 

' Adv. Manichseos. " Hist. Evang. 

' See Mosheini, I., II., i. * See Book VI., Chap. VII. 


the loan may not have been left unpaid. It is not im- 
possible that the Hindu doctrines received fresh ani- 
mation from their adoption by the successors of Am- 
monius, and, especially, by the mystics, who may have 
prompted, as well as employed, the expressions of the 
Puranas. Anquetil du Perron has given, ^ in the intro- 
duction to his translation of the 'Oupnekhat', several 
hymns by Synesius, a bishop of the beginning of the 
fifth century, which may serve as parallels to many of 
the hymns and prayers addressed to Vishnu in the 
Vishnu Puraha. 

But the ascription, to individual and personal deities, 
of the attributes of the one universal and spiritual Su- 
preme Being, is an indication of a later date than the 
Vedas, certainly, and, apparently, also, than the Rama- 
yana, where Rama, although an incarnation of Vishnu, 
commonly appears in his human character alone. There 
is something of the kind in the Mahabharata, in respect 
to Krishna; especially in the philosophical episode 
known as the Bhagavad Gita. In other places, the di- 
vine nature of Krishna is less decidedly affirmed; in 
some, it is disputed, or denied; and, in most of the 
situations in which he is exhibited in action, it is as a 
prince and warrior, not as a divinity. He exercises no 
superhuman faculties in the defence of himself or his 
friends, or in the defeat and destruction of his foes. 
The Mahabharata, however, is, evidently, a work of 
various periods, and requires to be read throughout, 
carefully and critically, before its weight as an author- 
ity can be accurately appreciated. As it is now in 

Theologia et Philosopbia Indica, Dissert., p. xxvi. 


type/ — thanks to the pubhc spu'it of the Asiatic So- 
ciety of Bengal, and their secretary, Mr. J. Prinsep, — 
it will not be long before the Sanskrit scholars of the 
continent \Yill accurately appreciate its value. 

The Puranas are, also, works of evidently different 
ages, and have been compiled under different circum- 
stances, the precise nature of which we can but im- 
perfectly conjecture from internal evidence and from 
what we know of the history of religious opinion in 
India. It is highly probable that, of the present popular 
forms of the Hindu religion, none assumed their actual 
state earlier than the time of Sankara Acharya, the 
great Saiva reformer, who flourished, in all likelihood, 
in the eighth or ninth century. Of the Vaishnava 
teachers, Ramanuja dates in the twelfth century; Ma- 
dhwacharya, in the thirteenth; and Vallabha, in the 
sixteenth;^ and the Puranas seem to have accompanied, 
01" followed, their innovations; being obviously intended 
to advocate the doctrines they taught. This is to as- 
sign to some of them a very modern date, it is true; 
but I cannot think that a higher can, with justice, be 
ascribed to them. This, however, applies to some only 
out of the number, as I shall presently proceed to 

Another evidence of a comparatively modern date 

' Three volumes have been printed: the fourth and last is 
understood to be nearly completed.* 

* As. Res., Vols. XVI. and XVII. Account of Hindu Sects, f 

* It was completed in 1839: at least, it bears that date, 
t This "Sketch of the Religious Sects of the Hindus", by Professor 
Wilson, will be found in the fn-st volume of his collected works. 


most be admitted in those chapters of the Puranas 
which, assuming a prophetic tone, foretell ^Yhat dy- 
nasties of kings will reign in the Kali age. These 
chapters, it is true, are found but in four of the Pura- 
nas; but they are conclusive in bringing down the date 
of those four to a period considerably subsequent to 
Christianity. It is, also, to be remarked that the Vayu, 
Vishnu, Bhagavata, and Matsya Puranas, in which 
these particulars are foretold, have, in all other re- 
spects, the character of as great antiquity as any works 
of their class. ^ 

The invariable form of the Puranas is that of a dia- 
logue, in which some person relates its contents, in 
reply to the inquiries of another. This dialogue is 
interwoven with others, which are repeated as having 
been held, on other occasions, between different indi- 
viduals, in consequence of similar questions having 
been asked. The immediate narrator is, commonly, 
though not constantly, Lomaharshana or Romahar- 
shana, the disciple of Vyasa, who is supposed to com- 
municate what was imparted to him by his preceptor, 
as he had heard it from some other sage. Vyasa, as 
will be seen in the body of the work,^ is a generic title, 
meaning an 'arranger or 'compiler'. It is, in this age, 
applied to Krishna Dwaipayana, the son of Parasara, 

* On the history of the composition of the- Punu'ias, as they 
now appear, I liave hazarded some speculations in my Analysis 
of the Vayu Parana : Journ. Asiatic Society of Bengal, December, 
1832. * 

2 Book III., Chapter III. 

See Vol. III. of our author's collected writings. 
I. b 


who is said to have taught the Veclas and Puranas to 
various disciples, but who appears to have been the 
head of a college, or school, under whom various 
learned men gave to the sacred literature of the Hindus 
the form in which it now presents itself. In this task, 
the disciples, as they are termed, of Vyasa were, rather, 
his colleagues and coadjutors; for they were already 
conversant with what he is fabled to have taught them ;^ 
and, amongst them, Lomaharshana represents the class 
of persons who were especially charged with the re- 
cord of political and temporal events. He is called 
Siita, as if it was a proper name: but it is, more cor- 
rectly, a title; and Lomaharshana was 'a Siita', that is, 
a bard, or panegyrist, who was created, according to 
our text,^ to celebrate the exploits of princes, and who, 
according to the Vayu and Padma Puranas, has a right, 
by birth and profession, to narrate the Puranas, in pre- 
ference even to the Brahmans.^ It is not unlikely, 
therefore, that w^e are to understand, by his being re- 
presented as the disciple of Vyiisa, the institution of 
some attempt, made under the direction of the latter, 
to collect, from the heralds and annalists of his day, 
the scattered traditions which they had imperfectly 
preserved: and hence the consequent appropriation of 
the Puranas, in a great measure, to the genealogies of 
regal dynasties and descriptions of the universe. How- 
ever this may be, the machinery has been but loosely 

' See Book III., Chapter III. ^ -g^^i^ i Chapter XIII. 

=* Journ. Royal As. Soc, Vol. V., p. 281.* 

* The article referred to is from the pen of Professor Wilson, and has 
been reprinted. 

PREFACE. xrx; 

adhered to; and many of the Puraiias, Uke the Vishnu, 
are referred to a different narrator. 

An account is given, in the following work,^ of a 
series of Pauranik compilations of which, in their 
present form, no vestige appears. Lomaharshaha is 
said to have had six disciples, three of whom composed 
as many fundamental San'ihitas, whilst he himself com- 
piled a fourth. By a Sainhita is generally understood 
a 'collection' or 'compilation'. The Saihhitas of the 
Vedas are collections of hymns and prayers belonging 
to them, arranged according to the judgment of some 
individual sage, who is, therefore, looked upon as the 
originator and teacher of each. The Saihhitas of the 
Purahas, then, should be analogous compilations, at- 
tributed, respectively, to Mitrayu, Samsapayana, Akri- 
tabraha, and Romaharshaha: no such Pauranik Sam- 
hitas are now known. The substance of the four is 
said to be collected in the Vishnu Puraha, which is, 
also, in another place, ^ itself called aSamhita. But such 
compilations have not, as far as inquiry has yet pro- 
ceeded, been discovered. The specification may be ac- 
cepted as an indication of the Purahas' having existed 
in some other form, in which they are no longer met 
with; although it does not appear that the arrangement 
was incompatible with their existence as separate 
works; for the Vishnu Puraha, which is our authority 
for the four Samhitas, gives us, also, the usual enu- 
meration of the several Purahas. 

There is another classification of the Purahas, alluded 
to in the Matsya Puraha, and specified by the Padma 

' Book III., Chapter III. - Book I., Chapter I. 


Puraha, but more fully. It is not undeserving of no- 
tice, as it expresses the opinion which native writers 
entertain of the scope of the Puranas, and of their re- 
cognizing the subservience of these works to the dis- 
semination of sectarian principles. Thus, it is said, in 
the Uttara Khanda of the Padma,* that the Puranas, 
as well as other works, are divided into three classes, 
according to the qualities which prevail in them. Thus, 
the Vishnu, Naradiya, Bhagavata, Garuda, Padma, and 
Varaha Puranas are Sattwika or pure, from the pre- 
dominance, in them, of the Sattwa quality, or that of 
goodness and purity. They are, in fact^ Vaishnava Pu- 
ranas. The Matsya, Kiirma, Linga, Siva, Skanda, and 
Agni Purjii'ias are Tamasa, or Puranas of darkness, 
from the prevalence of the quality of Tamas, 'igno- 
rance', 'gloom'. They are, indisputably, Saiva Puranas. 
The third series, comprising the Brahmanda, Brahma 
Vai varta, Markandeya, Bhavishya, Vamana, and Brahma 
Puranas, are designated as Rajasa, 'passionate', from 
Rajas, the property of passion, which they are sup- 
posed to represent. The Matsya does not specify 
which ai-e the Puranas that come under these designa- 
tions, but remarks f that those in which the Mahatmya 

* Chapter XLII.: 

JT^ ^ TEflfTTf^ ff-R^Tf^ t^^VfT II 
tw^ ^TT^^ ^ ^W{ m^^fj ^^^ I 
'n^^ ^ rr^ VJ^ ^TTTf '^H^^^ II 

WWT^ W1T%^^ ^T^T§^ fT%^ '^f II 

t Chapter LII.: 


of Hari or Vishnu prevails are Sattwika; those in which 
the legends of Agni or Siva predominate are Tamasa; 
and those which dwell most on the stories of Brahma 
are Rajasa. I have elsewhere stated^ that I considered 
the Rajasa Puranas to lean to the Sakta division of the 
Hindus, the worshippers of Sakti or the female prin- 
ciple; founding this opinion on the character of the 
legends which some of them contain, such as the Durga 
Mahatmya, or celebrated legend on which the worship 
of Durga or Kali is especially founded, which is a 
principal episode of the Miirkahdeya. The Brahma 
Vaivarta also devotes the greatest portion of its chap- 
ters to the celebration of Radha, the mistress of Krishna, 
and other female divinities. Colonel Vans Kennedy, 
how^ever, objects to the application of the term Sakta 
to this last division of the Puranas; the worship of 
Sakti being the especial object of a different class of 
works, the Tantras; and no such form of worship being 
particularly inculcated in the Brahma Purana.^ This 
last argument is of weight in regard to the particular 
instance specified; and the designation of Sakti may 
not be correctly applicable to the whole class, although 
it is to some of the series: for there is no incompati- 
bility in the advocacy of a Tantrika modification of 

' As. Res., Vol. XVI., p. 10. * 

^ Asiatic Journal, March, 1837, p. 241. 

fTi[^^ ^TfTfj^i fn^%g tir^^ "^ I 

^Wg ^T^^t: fv^W\ ^ f^^% II 

Vol, I., p. 12, foot-note, of the author's collective publications. 


the Hindu religion by any Parana; and it has, unques- 
tionably, been practised in works known asUpapuranas. 
The proper appropriation of the third class of the Pu- 
rafias, according to the Padma Purana, appears to be 
to the worship of Krishna, not in the character in which 
he is represented in the Vishnu and Bhagavata Pura- 
nas, — in which the incidents of his boyhood are only 
a portion of his biography, and in which the human 
character largely participates, at least in his riper years, 
— but as the infant Krishna, Govinda, Bala Gopala, the 
sojourner in Vfindavana, the companion of the cow- 
herds and milkmaids, the lover of Radha, or as the 
juvenile master of the universe, Jagannatha. The term 
Rajasa, implying the animation of passion and enjoy- 
ment of sensual delights, is applicable not only to the 
character of the youthful divinity, but to those with 
whom his adoration in these forms seems to have 
originated, the Gosains of Gokul and Bengal, the fol- 
lowers and descendants of Vallabha and Chaitanya, the 
priests and proprietors of Jagannath and Srinathdwar, 
who lead a life of affluence and indulgence, and vin- 
dicate, both by precept and practice, the reasonable- 
ness of the Rajasa property, and the congruity of tem- 
poral enjoyment with the duties of religion/ 

The Puranas are uniformly stated to be eighteen in 
number. It is said that there are also eighteen Upa- 
puranas or minor Puranas: but the names of only a 
few of these are specified in the least exceptionable 

' As. Res., Vol. XVI., p. 85. * 

Collective Works of Professor Wilson, Vol. I., p. 119. 


authorities; and the greater number of the works is 
not procurable. With regard to the eighteen Puranas, 
there is a pecuUarity in their specification, which is 
proof of an interference with the integrity of the text, 
in some of them, at least; for each of them specifies 
the names of the whole eighteen. Now, the list could 
not have been complete whilst the work that gives it 
was unfinished; and in one only, therefore, the last of 
the series, have we a right to look for it. As, however, 
there are more last words than one, it is evident that 
the names must have been inserted in all except one, 
after the whole were completed. Which of the eighteen 
is the exception, and truly the last, there is no clue to 
discover; and the specification is, probably, an inter- 
polation, in most, if not in all. 

The names that are specified are commonly the 
same, and are as follows: 1. Brahma, 2. Padma, 3. Vai- 
shnava, 4. Saiva, 5. Bhagavata, 6. Naradiya, 7. Mar- 
kandeya, 8. Agneya, 9. Bhavishya, 10. Brahma Vai- 
varta, 11. Lainga, 12. Varaha, 13. Skanda, 14. Vamana, 
15. Kaurma, 16. Matsya, 17. Gtiruda, 18. Brahmanda.^ 
This is from the twelfth book of the Bhagavata, and 
is the same as occurs in the Vishnu.^ In other authori- 

^ The names are put attributively; the noun substantive, Pu- 
nii'ia, being understood. Thus, Yaishnavani Puraiiam means the 
Puraria of Vishnu; Saivam Puraiiam, the Puraiia of Siva; Brah- 
marh Purariara, the Parana of Brahma. It is equally correct, and 
more common, to use the two substantives in apposition, as 
Vishnu Puraria, Siva Puraria, &c. In the original Sanskrit the 
nouns are compounded, as Vishriu-puraria, &c. : but it has not 
been customary to combine them, in their European shape. 

2 Book III,, Chapter VI. 


ties there are a few variations. The hst of the Kurma 
Purana omits the Agni Purana, and substitutes the 
Vayu.* The Agni leaves out the Siva, and inserts the 
Vayu. The Varaha omits the Garuda and Brahmahda, 
and inserts the Vayu and Narasiniha: in this last, it is 
singular. The Markahdeya agrees with the Vishnu and 
Bhagavata, in omitting the Vayu. The Matsya, like 
the Agni, leaves out the Siva. 

Some of the Purahas, as the Agni, Matsya,f Bhaga- 
vata, t and Padma, also particularize the number of 
stanzas which each of the eighteen contains. In one 
or two instances they disagree; but, in general, they 
concur. The aggregate is stated at 400,000 slokas, or 
1,600,000 lines. These are fabled to be but an abridg- 
ment; the whole amount being a krore or ten millions 

* Professor Wilson's MS. has ^TT^^^nT^T %^; but four MSS. that 
I have consulted have ^TTofi'H^'^^^T'IT'^- And the latter reading is to 
be preferred. The Kurma professes, at the end of its list of the Pa- 
rai'ias, to have enumerated eighteen; and, unless it names both the Vdiju 
and the Agni, it enumerates but seventeen. 

f The particulars from the MaUya will be found in the sequel. 

+ The computation of the B/ukjai'ata , XII., 13, 4-8, is as follows: 
Brahma, 10,000 stanzas; Padma, 55,000; VMi'ni, 23,000; Siva, 24,000; 
Bhagavata, 18,000; Ndrada, 25,000; Murkamlaja, 9,000; Agni, 15,400; 
Bhavishya, 14,500; Brahma-vaivarta, 18,000; Linga, 11,000; Varaha, 
24,000; Skanda, 81,100; Vdmana, 10,000; Kiirma, 17,000; Matsya, 
14,000; Garucla, 19,000; BrahmdMa, 12,000. The total is 400,000. 

The Blidgavata here calls the Ayni and the Gariida by the names of 
Vdhna and Sauparnn. 

The Devi-hhdgavata substitutes, in place of the Siva, the Vdyu, and 
assigns to it 10,600 stanzas. Further, it gives to the Agni, 16,000; to 
the Skanda, 81,000; and to the Brahmdnda, 12,100. 

The Revd-mdhdtmya also has, instead of Sivn, Vdyu, but reckons it 
at 24,000 couplets; and it likewise allows 16,000 to the Agni. To the 
Skanda it gives 84,000; and to the Brahmdnda, 12,200. 

For further details, see Burnoufs edition of the Bhagavata- purana. 
Vol. I., Preface, pp. lxxxvi-lxxxix, foot-note. 


of stanzas, or even a thousand millions." If all the 
fragmentary portions claiming, in various parts of In- 
dia, to belong to the Puranas were admitted, their ex- 
tent would much exceed the lesser, though it would 
not reach the larger, enumeration. The former is, how- 
ever, as I have elsewhere stated,^ a quantity that an 
individual European scholar could scarcely expect to 
peruse with due care and attention, unless his whole 
time were devoted exclusively, for many years, to the 
task. Yet, without some such labour being achieved, 
it was clear, from the crudity and inexactness of all 
that had been hitherto published on the subject, with 
one exception," that sound views on the subject of 
Hindu mythology and tradition were not to be ex- 
pected. Circumstances, which I have already explained 
in the paper in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic So- 
ciety, referred to above, enabled me to avail myself of 

' Journ. Royal As. Soc, Vol. V., p. 61. f 

- I allude to the valuable work of Colonel Vans Kennedy, 
Researches into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient and Hindu 
Mythology. However much I may dift'er from that learned and 
industrious writer's conclusions, I must do him the justice to ad- 
mit that he is the only author who has discussed the subject of 
the mythology of the Hindus on right principles, by drawing his 
materials from authentic sources. 

* So says the ^latsyn-purdi'ia, LIT., nd inif.: 

^^nTt ^ ^^^ ^T^^ f^f^cTT: II 

t See Professor Wilson's collective works, Vol. Ill, 


competent assistance, by which I made a minute ab- 
stract of most of the Puranas. In course of time I 
hope to place a tolerably copious and connected ana- 
lysis of the whole eighteen before Oriental scholars, 
and, in the meanwhile, offer a brief notice of their 
several contents. 

In general, the enumeration of the Puranas is a 
simple nomenclature, wath the addition, in some cases, 
of the number of verses; but to these the Matsya Pu- 
rana* joins the mention of one or two circumstances 
peculiar to each, which, although scanty, are of value, 
as offering means of identifying the copies of the Pu- 
ranas now found with those to which the Matsya re- 
fers, or of discovering a difference between the present 
and the past. I shall, therefore, prefix the passage de- 
scriptive of each Purana, from the Matsya. It is neces- 
sary to remark, however, that, in the comparison in- 
stituted between that description and the Purana as it 
exists, I necessarily refer to the copy or copies which 
I employed for the purpose of examination and ana- 
lysis, and which were procured, with some trouble and 
cost, in Benares and Calcutta. In some instances my 
manuscripts have been collated with others from dif- 
ferent parts of India; and the result has shown that, 
with regard at least to the Brahma, Vishnu, Vayu, 
Matsya, Padma, Bhagavata, and Kurma Puranas, the 
same works, in all essential respects, are generally cur- 
rent under the same appellations. Whether this is in- 
variably the case, may be doubted; and further inquiry 
may possibly show that I have been obliged to con- 

* Chapter LII. 


tent myself with mutilated or unautlientic works. ^ It 
is with this reservation, therefore, that I must be un- 
derstood to speak of the concurrence or disagreement 
of any Purana with the notice of it which the Matsya 
Purana has preserved. 

1 . Brahma Purana. ''That, the whole of which was 
formerly repeated by Brahma to Marichi, is called the 
Brahma Purana, and contains ten thousand stanzas."' 
In all the lists of the Puranas, the Brahma is placed 
at the head of the series, and is, thence, sometimes 
also entitled the Adi or 'first' Purana. It is also de- 
signated as theSaura; as it is, in great part, appropriated 
to the worship of Surya, 'the sun'. There are, how- 
ever, works bearing these names which belong to the 
class of Upapuninas, and which are not to be con- 
founded with the Brahma. It is usually said, as above, 
to contain ten thousand slokas; but the number actu- 
ally occurring is between seven and eight thousand. 
There is a supplementary or concluding section, called 
the Brahmottara Purana, and which is different from 
a portion of the Skanda called the Brahmottara Klianda, 
which contains about three thousand stanzas more. But 

' Upon examining the translations of different passages from 
the Puranas, given by Colonel Vans Kennedy in the work men- 
tioned in a former note, and comparing them with the text of the 
manuscripts I have consulted, I find such an agreement as to 
warrant the belief, that there is no essential difference between 
the copies in his possession and in mine. The varieties which 
occur in the MSS. of the East India Company's Library will be 
noticed in the text. 


there is every reason to conclude that this is a distinct 
and unconnected work. 

The immediate narrator of the Brahma Purana is 
Lomaharshana, who communicates it to the Rishis or 
sages assembled at Naimisharanya, as it was originally 
revealed by Brahma, not to Marichi, as the Matsya af- 
firms, but toDaksha, another of the patriarchs. Hence 
its denomination of the Brahma Purana. 

The early chapters of this work give a description 
of the creation, an account of the Manwantaras, and 
the history of the solar and lunar dynasties to the time 
of Krishna, in a summary manner, and in words which 
are common to it and several other Puranas. A brief 
description of the universe succeeds; and then come 
a number of chapters relating to the holiness of Orissa, 
with its temples and sacred groves dedicated to the 
sun, to Siva, and Jagannatha, the latter especially. 
These chapters are characteristic of this Purana, and 
show its main object to be the promotion of the wor- 
ship of Krishna as Jagannatha. ^ To these particulars 

' Colonel Vans Kennedy objects to this character of the Brahma 
Purana, and observes that it contains only two short descriptions 
of pagodas, the one of Koriaditya, the other of Jagannatha. In 
that case, his copy must differ considerably from those I have 
met with ; for, in them, the description of Purushottama Kshetra, 
the holy land of Orissa, runs through forty chapters, or one third 
of the work. The description , it is true , is interspersed , in the 
usual rambling strain of the Puranas, with a variety of legends, 
some ancient, some modern; but they are intended to illustrate 
some local circumstance, and are, therefore, not incompatible with 
the main design , the celebration of the gh)ries of Purushottama 
Kshetra. The specification of the temple of Jagannatha, how- 


succeeds a life of Krishna, which is, word for word, the 
same as that of the Vishnu Parana; and the compila- 
tion terminates with a particular detail of the mode in 
which Yoga or contemplative devotion, the object of 
which is still Vishnu, is to be performed. There is 
little, in this, which corresponds with the dehnition of 
a Pancha-lakshana Purana; and the mention of the 
temples ofOrissa, the date of the original construction 
of which is recorded,^ shows that it could not have 
been compiled earlier than the thirteenth or fourteenth 

The Uttara Khahda of the Brahma Purana bears still 
more entirely the character of a Mahatmya or local 
legend; being intended to celebrate the sanctity of the 
Balaja river, conjectured to be the same as the Banas 
in Marwar. There is no clue to its date: but it is clearly 
modern; grafting personages and fictions of its own in- 
vention on a few hints from older authorities.^ 

2. Padma Purana. "That which contains an account 
of the period when the world was a golden lotos 
(padma), and of all the occurrences of that time, is, 
therefore, called the Padma by the wise. It contains 
fifty-five thousand stanzas."'^ The second Purana, in 

ever, is, of itself, sufficient, in my opinion, to determine the 
character and era of the compilation. 

' See Account of Orissa Proper, or Cuttaclv: , by A. Stirling, 
Esq. : Asiatic Res., Vol. XV., p. 305. 

^ See Analysis of the Brahma Purana: Journ. Royal As. Soc, 
Vol. v., p. 65. 


the usual lists, is always the Padma, a very voluminous 
work, containing, according to its own statement, as 
well as that of other authorities, fifty-five thousand 
slokas: an amount not far from the truth. These are 
divided amongst five books, orKhandas; 1. The Srishti 
Khanda or section on creation; 2. The BhumiKhahda, 
description of the earth; 3. The Swarga Khanda, chap- 
ter on heaven; 4. Patala Khanda, chapter on the re- 
gions below the earth; and 5. the Uttara Khanda, last 
or supplementary chapter. There is also current a 
sixth division, the Kriya Yoga Sara, a treatise on the 
practice of devotion. 

The denominations of these divisions of the Padma 
Purana convey but an imperfect and partial notion of 
their contents. In the first, or section which treats of 
creation, the narrator is Ugrasravas, the Si'ita, the son 
of Lomaharshana, who is sent, by his father, to the 
Rishis at Naimisharanya, to communicate to them the 
Purana, which, from its containing an account of the 
lotos (padma) in which Brahma appeared at creation, 
is termed the Padma, or Padma Purana. The Suta re- 
peats what was originally communicated by Brahma 
to Pulastya, and by him to Bhishma. The early chap- 
ters narrate the cosmogony, and the genealogy of the 
patriarchal families, much in the same style, and often 
in the same words, as the Vishnu; and short accounts 
of the Manwantaras and regal dynasties: but these, 
which are legitimate Pauranik matters, soon make way 
for new and unauthentic inventions, illustrative of the 
virtues of the lake of Pushkara or Pokher, in Ajmir, 
as a place of pilgrimage. 

The Bhimn' Khanda, or section of the earth, defers 


any description of the earth until near its close; filling 
up one hundred and twenty-seven chapters with le- 
gends of a very mixed description, some ancient, and 
common to other Puranas, but the greater part pecnliar 
to itself, illustrative of Tirthas, either figuratively so 
termed, — as a wife, a parent, or a Guru, considei'ed as 
a sacred object, — or places to which actual pilgrimage 
should be performed. 

The Swarga Khanda describes, in the first chapters, 
the relative positions of the Lokas or spheres above 
the earth; placing above all, Vaikuntha, the sphere of 
Vishnu: an addition which is not warranted by what 
appears to be the oldest cosmology.^ Miscellaneous 
notices of some of the most celebrated princes then 
succeed, conformably to the usual narratives; and these 
are followed by rules of conduct for the several castes, 
and at different stages of life. The rest of the book is 
occupied by legends of a diversified description, intro- 
duced without much method or contrivance; a few^ of 
which, as Daksha's sacrifice, are of ancient date, but 
of which the most are original and modern. 

The Piitala Khanda devotes a brief introduction to 
the description of Patala, the regions of the snake- 
gods. But, the name of Rama having been mentioned, 
Seslia, who has succeeded Pulastya as spokesman, 
proceeds to narrate the history of Rama, his descent, 
and his posterity; in which the compiler seems to have 
taken the poem of Kalidasa, the Raghu Vamsa, for his 
chief authority. An originality of addition may be sus- 
pected, however, in the adventures of the horse des- 

' See Book 11., Chapter VII. 


tined by Rama for an Aswamedha, which form the 
subject of a great many chapters. When about to be 
sacrificed, the horse turns out to be a Brahman, con- 
demned, by an nnprecation of Durvasas, a sage, to as- 
sume the equine nature, and who, by having been 
sanctified by connexion with Rama, is released from 
his metamorphosis, and despatched, as a spirit of light, 
to heaven. This piece of Vaishnava fiction is followed 
by praises of the Sri Bhagavata, an account of Krishna's 
juvenilities, and the merits of worshipping Vishnu. 
These accounts are communicated through a machinery 
borrowed from the Tantras : they are told by Sadasiva 
to Parvati, the ordinary interlocutors of Tantrika com- 

The Uttara Khanda is a most voluminous ao;o;re<i"a- 
tion of very heterogeneous matters; but it is consistent 
in adopting a decidedly Vaishnava tone, and admitting 
no compromise with any other form of faith. The chief 
subjects are first discussed in a dialogue between king 
Dilipa and the Muni Vasishtha; such as the merits of 
bathing in the mouth of Magha, and the potency of 
the Mantra or prayer addressed to Lakshmi Narayana. 
Pnit the nature of Bhakti, faith in Vishnu — the use of 
Vaishnava marks on the body — the legends of Vishnu's 
Avattiras, and especially of Rama — and the construc- 
tion of images of Vishnu — are too important to be 
left to mortal discretion. They are explained by Siva 
to Parvati, and wound up by the adoration of Vishnu 
by those divinities. The dialogue then reverts to the 
king and the sage; and the latter states why Vishnu is 
the only one of the triad entitled to respect; Siva being 
licentious, Brahma arrogant, and Vishnu alone pure. 


Vasishtha then repeats, after Siva, the Mahatmya of 
the Bhagavad Gita; the merit of each book of which 
is ihustrated by legends of the good consequences, to 
individuals, from perusing or hearing it. Other Vaish- 
hava Mahatmyas occupy considerable portions of 
this Khahda, especially the Karttika Mahatmya, or 
holiness of the month Karttika; illustrated, as usual, 
by stories, a few of which are of an early origin, but 
the greater part modern, and peculiar to this Purana/ 

The Kriya Yoga Sara is repeated, by Suta, to the 
Rishis, after Vyasa's communication of it to Jaimini, 
in answer to an inquiry how religious merit might be 
secured in the Kali age, in which men have become 
incapable of the penances and abstraction by which 
final liberation was formerly to be attained. The answer 
is, of course, that which is intimated in the last book 
of the Vishnu Puraha — personal devotion to Vishnu. 
Thinking of him, repeating his names, wearing his 
marks, worshipping in his temples, are a full substitute 
for all other acts of moral, or devotional, or contem- 
plative, merit. 

The different portions of the Padma Purana are, in 
all probability, as many different works, neither of 
which approaches to the original definition of a Purana. 
There may be some connexion between the three first 
portions, at least as to time: but there is no reason to 
consider them as of high antiquity. They specify 
the Jainas, both by name and practices; they talk of 
Mlechchhas, "barbarians", flourishing in India; they 

' One of them, the story of Jalandhara, is translated by 
Colonel Vans Kennedy: Researches into the Nature and Affinity 
of Ancient and Hindu Mythology, Appendix D. 

I. c 


commend the use of the frontal and other Vaishnava 
marks; and they notice other subjects which, hke these, 
are of no remote origin. The Patala Khaiida dwells 
copiously upon the Bhagavata, and is, consequently, 
posterior to it. The Uttara Khanda is intolerantly 
Vaishnava, and is, therefore, unquestionably modern. 
It enjoins the veneration of the Salagrama stone and 
Tulasi plant, the use of the Tapta-mudra, or stamping 
with a hot iron the name of Vishnu on the skin, and a 
variety of practices and observances undoubtedly no 
part of the original system. It speaks of the shrines 
of Sriranga and Venkatadri in the Dekhin, temples that 
have no pretension to remote antiquity; and it names 
Haripura on the Tungabhadra, which is, in all likelihood, 
the city of Vijayanagara, founded in the middle of the 
fourteenth century. The Kriya Yoga Sara is equally 
a modern, and, apparently, a Bengali composition. No 
portion of the Padma Puraha is, probably, older than 
the twelfth century; and the last parts may be as recent 
as the fifteenth or sixteenth.^ 

3. Vishnu Puraha. "That in which Parasara, begin- 
ning with the events of the Varaha Kalpa, expounds 
all duties, is called the Vaishnava: and the learned know 
its extent to be twenty-three thousand stanzas."' The 

' The grounds of these conclusions are more particularly 
detailed in my Analysis of the Padma Parana: J. R. As. Soc, 
Vol. v., p. 280. 

■if W ■IV' -A* -A* •A* ■!?• "* 

•if -if ■Jf ■if ■5s' -A- -Jf ■?? 


third Piirjii'ia of the lists is that which has been selected 
for translation, the Vishnu. It it unnecessary, there- 
fore, to offer any general summary of its contents ; and 
it will be convenient to reserve any remarks upon its 
character and probable antiquity, for a subsequent page. 
It may here be observed, however, that the actual 
number of verses contained in it falls far short of the 
enumeration of the Matsya, with which the Bhagavata 
concurs. Its actual contents are not seven thousand 
stanzas. All the copies — and, in this instance, they are 
not fewer than seven in number, — procured both in 
the east and in the west of India, ao-ree: and there is 
no appearance of any part being wanting. There is a 
beginning, a middle, and an end, in both text and com- 
ment; and the work, as it stands, is, incontestably, 
entire. How is the discrepancy to be explained? 

4. Vayu Purana. "The Purana in which Vayu has 
declared the laws of duty, in connexion with the Sweta 
Kalpa, and which comprises the Mahatmya of Rudra, 
is the Vayaviya Purana: it contains twenty-four thou- 
sand verses."^ The Siva or Saiva Purana is, as above 
remarked, omitted in some of the lists: and, in general, 
when that is the case, it is replaced by the Vayu or 
Vayaviya. When the Siva is specified, as in the Bha- 
gavata, then the Vayu is omitted;* intimating the pos- 
sible identity of these two works. f This, indeed, is 

* See p. XXIV. supra. 

t This identity is distinctly asserted in the Revd-mdhdimya, as follows; 


confirmed by the Matsya, which describes the Vtiya- 
viyaPuraiia as characterized by its account of the great- 
ness of Rudra or Siva: and Balani Bhatta^ mentions, 
that the Vayaviya is also caUed the Saiva, though, ac- 
cording to some, the latter is the name of anUpapuraha.'" 
Colonel Vans Kennedy observes, that, in the west of 
India, the Saiva is considered to be an Upa or 'minor 

Another proof that the same work is intended by 
the authorities here followed, theBhagavata andMatsya, 
under different appellations, is their concurrence in 
the extent of the work; each specifying its verses to 
be twenty-four thousand. A copy of the Siva Purana, 
of which an index and analysis have been prepared, 
does not contain more than about seven thousand. It 
cannot, therefore, be the Siva Purana of theBhagavata: 
and we may safely consider that to be the same as the 
Vayaviya of the Matsya.^ 

' Commentary on the Mitakshara, Vyavahara Karida. 
2 As. Journ., March, 1837, p. 242, note. 

^ Analysis of the Vayu Purana: Journ. As. Soc. of Bengal, 
December, 1832. 

* For accounts of works entitled Sira-piirai'ia and lAiglni-Hva-pitrui'ia, 
see Catalog. Cod. Manuscript. Sanscrit. Postvedic. Bodleian., &c., §§ 113, 
127, and 129. 

Regarding the first, described in § 113, Dr. Aufrecht observes: "De 
libro ipso, quern ad celebrandum cultum Laingicum scriptum esse vides, 
in praesentia nihil temere asseveraverim; exspectandum enim est, duni 
de Skandapunlnae parte, quae Sivaiuahatmya appellatur, accuratiora 
audiauius. Ex quo libellum nostrum desumtum esse, iis quae infra 
dicta sunt, suspicari possis." 


The V/iyii Parana is narrated, by Suta, to the Rishis 
at Nainiisharanya, as it was formerly told, at the same 
place, to similar persons, by Vayu; a repetition of cir- 
cumstances not uncharacteristic of the inartificial style 
of this Purana. It is divided into four Padas, termed, 
severally, Prakriya, Upodghata, Anushanga, and Upa- 
saiiihara; a classification peculiar to this work. These 
are preceded by an index, or heads of chapters, in the 
manner of the Mahabharata and Ramayana — another 

The Prakriya portion contains but a few chapters, 
and treats, chiefly, of elemental creation, and the first 
evolutions of beings, to the same purport as the Vishnu, 
but in a more obscure and unmethodical style. The 
Upodghata then continues the subject of creation, and 
describes the various Kalpas or periods during which 
the world has existed; a greater number of which is 
specified by the Saiva, than by the Vaishnava, Purahas. 
Thirty -three are here described, the last of which is 
the Sweta or 'white' Kalpa, from Siva's being born, in 
it, of a white complexion. The genealogies of the pa- 
triarchs, the description of the universe, and the inci- 
dents of the first six Manwantaras are all treated of in 
this part of the work; but they are intermixed with 
legends and praises of Siva, as the sacrifice of Daksha, 
the Maheswara Mahatmya, the Nilakahtha Stotra, and 
others. The genealogies, although, in the main, the 
same as those in the Vaishnava Purahas, present some 
variations. A long account of the Piti'is or progenitors 
is also peculiar to this Purana; as are stories of some 
of the most celebrated Rishis who were engaged in the 
distribution of the Vedas. 


The third division commences with an account of 
the seven Rishis and their descendants, and describes 
the origin of the different classes of creatures from the 
daughters of Daksha, with a profuse copiousness of 
nomenclature, not found in any other Purana. With 
exception of the greater minuteness of detail, the par- 
ticulars agree with those of the Vishnu Purana. A 
chapter then occurs on the worship of the Pitfis ; another, 
on Tirthas or places sacred to them; and several, on 
the performance of Sraddhas, constituting the Sraddha 
Kalpa. After this comes a full account of the solar and 
lunar dynasties, forming a parallel to that in the fol- 
lowing pages, with this diiference, that it is, throughout, 
in verse, whilst that of our text, as noticed in its place, 
is, chiefly, in prose. It is extended, also, by the insertion 
of detailed accounts of various incidents, briefly noticed 
in the Vishnu, though derived, apparently, from a com- 
mon original. The section terminates with similar 
accounts of future kings, and the same chronological 
calculations, that are found in the Vishnu. 

The last portion, the Upasamhtira, describes briefly 
the future Manwantaras, the measures of space and 
time, the end of the world, the efficacy of Yoga, and the 
glories of Sivapura, or the dwelling of Siva, with whom 
the Yogin is to be united. The manuscript concludes 
with a different history of the successive teachers of 
the Vayu Purana, tracing them from Brahma to Vayu, 
from Vayu toBrihaspati, and from him, through various 
deities and sages, to Dwaipayana and Suta. 

The account given of this Purana in the Journal of 
the Asiatic Society of Bengal was limited to something- 
less than half the work; as I had not then been able to 


procure a larger portion. I have now a more complete 
one of my own; and there are several copies in the 
East India Company's library, of the like extent. One, 
presented by His Highness the Graicowar, is dated 
Samvat 1540, or A. D. 1483, and is, evidently, as old 
as it professes to be. The examination I have made 
of the work confirms the view I formerly took of it; 
and, from the internal evidence it affords, it may, per- 
haps, be regarded as one of the oldest and most authen- 
tic specimens extant of a primitive Purana. 

It appears, however, that we have not yet a copy of 
the entire Vayu Purana. The extent of it, as mentioned 
above, should be twenty-four thousand verses. The 
Guicowar MS. has but twelve thousand, and is deno- 
minated the Purviirdha or first portion. My copy is 
of the like extent. The index also shows, that several 
subjects remain untold; as, subsequently to the descrip- 
tion of the sphere of Siva, and the periodical dissolution 
of the world, the work is said to contain an account 
of a succeeding creation, and of various events that 
occurred in it, as the birth of several celebrated Rishis, 
including that of Vyasa, and a description of his distri- 
bution of the Vedas; an account of the enmity between 
Vasishtha and Viswamitra; and a Naimisharanya Ma- 
hatmya. These topics are, however, of minor impor- 
tance, and can scarcely carry the Purana to the whole 
extent of the verses which it is said to. contain. If the 
number is accurate, the index must still omit a con- 
siderable portion of the subsequent contents. 

5. Sri Bhagavata Purana. "That in which ample 
details of duty are described, and which opens with 
(an extract from) the Gayatri; that in which the death 


of the Asura Vritra is told, and in which the mortals 
and immortals of the Saraswata Kalpa, with the events 
that then happened to them in the world, are related; 
that is celebrated as the Bhagavata, and consists of 
eighteen thousand verses." ^ The Bhagavata is a work 
of great celebrity in India, and exercises a more direct 
and powerful influence upon the opinions and feelings 
of the people than, perhaps, any other of the Puranas. 
It is placed the fifth in all the lists; but the Padma 
Purana ranks it as the eighteenth, as the extracted 
substance of all the rest. According to the usual speci- 
fication, it consists of eighteen thousand slokas, distri- 
buted amongst three hundred and thirty-two chapters, 
divided into twelve Skandhas or books. It is named 
Bhagavata from its being dedicated to the glorification 
of Bhagavat or Vishnu. 

The Bhagavata is communicated to the Rishis at Nai- 
misharanya, by Suta, as usual: but he only repeats what 
was narrated by Suka, the son of Vyasa, to Parikshit, 
the king ofHastinapura, the grandson of Arjuna. Having 
incurred the imprecation of a hermit, by which he was 
sentenced to die of the bite of a venomous snake at 
the expiration of seven days, the king, in preparation 
for this event, repairs to the banks of the Ganges, 
whither also come the gods and sages, to witness his 

fT|Tnnfr^ ^^ cT^srr'RfT^^ ii 

* 'Jv- * * * * * * 
4f * -:f -jf -:f -x- * -;f 


death. Amongst the latter is Suka; and it is in reply 
to Parikshit's question, what a man should do who is 
about to die, that he narrates the Bhagavata, as he had 
heard it from Vyasa: for nothing secures final happi- 
ness so certainly, as to die whilst the thoughts are 
wholly engrossed by Vishnu. 

The course of the narration opens with a cosmogony, 
which, although, in most respects, similar to that of 
otherPuranas, is more largely intermixed with allegory 
and mysticism, and derives its tone more from the 
Vedanta than the Stinkhya philosophy. The doctrine 
of active creation by the Supreme, as one with Vasu- 
deva, is more distinctly asserted, with a more decided 
enunciation of the effects being resolvable into Maya 
or illusion. There are, also, doctrinal peculiarities 
highly characteristic of this Purana; amongst which is 
the assertion , that it was originally communicated by 
Brahma to Narada, that all men whatsoever, Hindus 
of every caste, and even Mlechchhas, outcasts or bar- 
barians, might learn to have faith in Vasudeva. 

In the third book, the interlocutors are changed to 
Maitreya and Vidura, the former of whom is the dis- 
ciple, in the Vishnu Purana; the latter was the half- 
brother of the Kuru princes. Maitreya, again, gives 
an account of the Srishti-lila or sport of creation, in a 
strain partly common to the Puranas, partly peculiar; 
although he declares he learned it from his teacher 
Parasara, at the desire of Pulastya:^ referring, thus, to 
the fabulous origin of the Vishnu Purana, and furnish- 
ing evidence of its priority. Again, however, the 

' See Book I., Chapter L, ad finem. 


authority is changed; and the narrative is said to have 
been that which was communicated by Sesha to the 
Nagas. The creation of Brahma is then described, and 
the divisions of time are explained. A very long and 
peculiar account is given of the Varaha incarnation of 
Vishnu, which is followed by the creation of the Pra- 
japatis and Swayariibhuva, whose daughter Devahiiti 
is married to Kardama Rishi; an incident peculiar to 
this work , as is that which follows, of the Avatara of 
Vishnu as Kapila the son of Kardama and Devahuti, 
the author of the Sankhya philosophy, which he ex- 
pounds, after a Vaishnava fashion, to his mother, in 
the last nine chapters of this section. 

The Manwantara of Swayahibhuva, and the multipli- 
cation of the patriarchal families, are next described 
with some peculiarities of nomenclature, which are 
pointed out in the notes to the parallel passages of the 
VishhuPurana. The traditions of Dhruva,Vena,Prithu, 
and other princes of this period, are the other subjects 
of the fourth Skandha , and are continued, in the fifth, 
to that of the Bharata who obtained emancipation. The 
details generally conform to those of the Vishnu Pu- 
rtina; and the same words are often employed; so that 
it would be difficult to determine which work had the 
best right to them , had not the Bhagavata itself indi- 
cated its obligations to the Vishnu. The remainder of 
the fifth book is occupied with the description of the 
universe; and the same conformity with the Vishnu 

This is only partially the case with the sixth book, 
which contains a variety of legends of a miscellaneous 
description, intended to illustrate the merit of worship- 


ping Vishnu. Some of them belong to the early stock; 
but some are, apparently, novel. The seventh book is, 
mostly, occupied with the legend of Prahlada. In the 
eighth, we have an account of the remaining Manwan- 
taras; in which, as happening in the course of them, a 
variety of ancient legends are repeated, as the battle 
between the king of the elephants and an alligator, the 
churning of the ocean, and the dwarf and fish Avataras. 
The ninth book narrates the dynasties of the Vaivas- 
wata Manwantara, or the princes of the solar and lunar 
races to the time of Krishna.^ The particulars conform, 
generally, with those recorded in the Vishnu. 

The tenth book is the characteristic part of this 
Purana, and the portion upon which its popularity is 
founded. It is appropriated entirely to the history of 
Krishna, which it narrates much in the same manner 
as the Vishnu, but in more detail; holding a middle 
place, however, between it and the extravagant prolixity 
with which the Hari Vaihsa repeats the story. It is not 
necessary to particularize it further. It has been trans- 
lated into, perhaps, all the languages of India, and is 
a favourite work with all descriptions of people. 

The eleventh book describes the destruction of the 
Yadavas and death of Krishna. Previous to the latter 
event, Krishna instructs Uddhava in the performance 
of the Yoga; a subject consigned, by the Vishnu, to 
the concluding passages. The narrative is much 

' A translation of the ninth , by Captain Fell , was published 
in Calcutta , in different numbers of the Monthly and Quarterly 
Magazine, in 1823 and 1824. The second volume of Maurice's 
Ancient History of Hindostan contains a translation, by Mr. Halhed, 
of the tenth book, made through the medium of a Persian version. 


the same, but something more summary than that of 
the Vishnu. The twelfth book continues the hues of 
the kings of the KaH age, prophetically, to a similar 
period as the Vishnu, and gives a like account of the 
deterioration of all things and their final dissolution. 
Consistently with the subject of thePurana, the serpent 
Takshaka bites Parikshit, and he expires : and the work 
should terminate; or the close might be extended to the 
subsequent sacrifice of Janamejaya, for the destruction 
of the whole serpent race. There is a rather awkwardly 
introduced description, however, of the arrangement 
of the Vedas and Puranas by Vyasa, and the legend of 
Markandeya's interview with the infant Krishna, during 
a period of worldly dissolution. We then come to the 
end of the Bhagavata, in a series of encomiastic com- 
mendations of its own sanctity and efficacy to salvation. 
Mr. Colebrooke observes, of the Bhagavata Purana: 
'T am, myself, inclined to adopt an opinion supported 
by many learned Hindus, who consider the celebrated 
Sri Bhagavata as the work of a grammarian [Bopadeva], 
supposed to have lived about six hundred years ago."^ 
Colonel Vans Kennedy considers this an incautious 
admission ; because "it is unquestionable that the number 
of the Puranas have been always held to be eighteen; 
but, in most of the Puranas, the names of the eighteen 
are enumerated, amongst which the Bhagavata is in- 
variably included; and, consequently, if it were com- 
posed only six hundred years ago, the others must be 

' As. Res., Vol. VIIL, p. 467. * 
* Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. I., p. 104. 


of an equally modern date."^ Some of them are, no 
doubt, more recent; but, as already remarked, no weight 
can be attached to the specification of the eighteen 
names; for they are always complete: each Purana 
enumerates all.* Which is the last? Which had the 
opportunity of naming its seventeen predecessoi-s, and 
adding itself? The argument proves too much. There 
can be little doubt that the list has been inserted, upon 
the authority of tradition, either by some improving 
transcriber, or by the compiler of a work more recent 
than the eighteen genuine Purahas. The objection is 
also rebutted by the assertion, that there was another 
Purana to which the name applies, and which is still 
to be met with, the Devi Bhagavata. 

For the authenticity of the Bhagavata is one of the 
few questions, affecting their sacred literature, which 
Hindu writers have ventured to discuss. The occasion 
is furnished by the text itself. In the fourth chapter 
of the first book, it is said that Vyasa arranged the 
Vedas, and divided them into four, and that he then 
compiled theltihasa and Purahas, as a fifth Veda. The 
Vedas he gave to Paila and the rest; the Itihasa and 
Purahas, to Lomaharshaha, the father of Suta.^ Then, 

' Researches into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient and 
Hindu Mythology, p. 155, note. 
2 Book I., Chapter IV., 19-22. f 

* But see the editor's second note in p. LIV. infra. 


reflecting that these works may not be accessible to 
women, Sudras, and mixed castes, he composed the 
Bharata, for the purpose of placing religious knowledge 
within their reach. Still, he felt dissatisfied, and wan- 
dered, in much perplexity, along the banks of the 
Saraswati, where his hermitage was situated, when 
Narada paid him a visit. Having confided to him his 
secret and seemingly causeless dissatisfaction, Narada 
suggested that it arose from his not having sufficiently 
dwelt, in the works he had finished, upon the merit of 
worshipping Vasudeva. Vyasa at once admitted its 
truth, and found a remedy for his uneasiness in the 
composition of theBhagavata, which he taught to Suka, 
his son.^ Here, therefore, is the most positive assertion 
that the Bhagavata was composed subsequently to the 
Purahas, and given to a different pupil, and M''as not, 
therefore, one of the eighteen of which Romaharshaha, 
the Suta, was, according to all concurrent testimonies, 
the depositary. Still, the Bhagavata is named amongst 
the eighteen Purahas, by the inspired authorities: and 
how can these incongruities be reconciled? 

The principal point in dispute seems to have been 
started by an expression of Sridhara Swamin , a com- 
mentator on theBhagavata, who, somewhat incautiously, 
made the remark, that there was no reason to suspect 

' Book I., 7, 8. 


that, by the term Bhagavata, any other work than the 
subject of his labours was mtended. This was, there- 
fore, an admission that some suspicions had been enter- 
tained of the correctness of the nomenclature, and that 
an opinion had been expressed, that the term belonged, 
not to the Sri Bhagavata, but to the Devi Bhagavata; 
to a Saiva, not a Vaishhava, composition. With whom 
doubts prevailed prior toSridharaSwamin, or by whom 
they were urged, does not appear; for, as far as we 
are aware, no works, anterior to his date, in which 
they are advanced have been met with. Subsequently, 
various tracts have been written on the subject. There 
are three in the library of the East India Company: 
the Durjana Mukha Chapetika, 'A slap of the face for 
the vile', by Ramasrama; the Durjana Mukha Maha 
Chapetika,* 'A great slap of the face for the wicked', 
by Kasinatha Bhatta; and the Durjana Mukha Padma 
Paduka, 'A slipper' for the same part of the same per- 
sons, by a nameless disputant. The first maintains the 
authenticity of the Bhagavata; the second asserts, that 

* The postscript of this tract has Durjana-mukha-cliapet'ikd. In the MS., 
Professor Wilson has noted, that it is referred to, in the Durjana-vmkha- 
padma-pddukd, under a longer title, that given in the text. Biirnouf — 
■who, in the preface to the first volume of his Bhdgavata-purdna, has 
translated and annotated the three treatises named above — remarks as 
follows on that reference: "Le traite auqiiel notre auteur fait allusion 
parait etre le meme que celui que j'ai place le troisieme, et qui est 
consacre tout entier a prouver cette these, que quand les Puraiias par- 
lent du Bhagavata, c'est le Devibhagavata qu'ils entendent designer, et 
non pas notre (^ri Bhagavata, qui fait autorite pour les Vaichnavas. 
Cependant le passage sur lequel porte la presente note nomme ce traite: 
Un grand soufflet, etc.; ce qui ferait supposer qu'il existe deux traites 
de ce genre, dont I'un serait plus etendu que I'autre, et dont nous ne 
possederions que le plus court, c'est-a-dire celui qui est traduit plus 
has." P. LXXVII. 


the Devi Bhagavata is the genuine Puraiia; and the 
third rephes to the arguments of the first. There is, 
also, a work by Purushottania, entitled 'Thirteen argu- 
ments for dispelling all doubts of the character of the 
Bhagavata' (I^hagavata s^yarupa vishaya sanka nirasa 
trayodasa); whilst Balam Bhatta, a commentator on the 
Mitakshara, indulging in a dissertation on the meaning 
of the word Purana, adduces reasons for questioning 
the inspired origin of this Purana. 

The chief arguments in favour of the authenticity 
of this Purana are, the absence of any reason why 
Bopadeva, to whom it is attributed, should not have 
put his own name to it; its being included in all lists 
of the Puranas, sometimes with circumstances that 
belong to no other Purana; and its being admitted to 
be a Purana, and cited as authority, or made the sub- 
ject of comment, by writers of established reputation, 
of whom Sankara Acharya is one: and he lived long 
before Bopadeva. The reply to the first argument is 
rather feeble; the controversialists being unwilling, 
perhaps, to admit the real object, the promotion of new 
doctrines. It is, therefore , said, that Vyasa was an in- 
carnation of Narayana; and the purpose was to propi- 
tiate his favour. The insertion of a Bhagavata amongst 
the eighteen Puranas is acknowledged; but this, it is 
said, can be the Devi Bhagavata alone: for the circum- 
stances apply more correctly to it than to the Vaishnava 
Bhagavata. Thus, a text is quoted, by Kasinatha, from 
a Purana — he does not state which — that says, of the 
Bhagavata, that it contains eighteen thousand verses, 
twelve books, and three hundred and thirty-two chap- 


ters.''^ Kasinatha asserts that the chapters of the Sri 
Bhagavata are three hundred and thirty-five, and that 
the numbers apply, throughout, only to the Devi Bha- 
gavata. It is also said that the Bhagavata contains an 
account of the acquirement of holy knowledge by 
Hayagriva; the particulars of the Saraswata Kalpa; a 
dialogue between Ambarisha and Suka; and that it 
commences with the Gayatri, or, at least, a citation of 
it. These all apply to the Devi Bhagavata alone, except 
the last: but it also is more true of the Saiva than of 
the Vaishnava work; for the latter has only one word 
of the Gayatri, dhimahi, 'we meditate'; whilst the 
former to dhimahi adds, Yo nah prachodayat, 'who 
may enlighten us.' To the third argument it is, in the 
first place, objected, that the citation of the Bhagavata 
by modern writers is no test of its authenticity; and, 
with regard to the more ancient commentary of San- 
kara Acharya, it is asked, "Where is it?" Those who 
advocate the sanctity of the Bhagavata reply: "It was 
written in a difficult style, and became obsolete, and 
is lost." "A very unsatisfactory plea", retort their 
opponents; "for we still have the works of Sankara, 
several of which are quite as difficult as any in the 
Sanskrit language." The existence of this comment, 
too, rests upon the authority of Madhwa or Madha- 

W^^ TT^ir TI^T^ WW^ t^tffTT: ^ht: II 
^Nilf^^ff ^?r«T-Rn: ^tr^fifrn: i 

The tirst three of these five verses are quoted, professedly from the Pu- 
rdndrnava, near the beginning of Chitsukha's Bhugavata-lcathd-sangraha. 
I. d 


va,* who, in a commentary of his own, asserts that he 
has consulted eight others. Now, amongst these is 
one by the monkey Hanumat; and, although a Hindu 
disputant may believe in the reality of such a composi- 
tion, yet we may receive its citation as a proof that 
Madhwa was not very scrupulous in the verification 
of his authorities. 

There are other topics urged, in this controversy, 
on both sides, some of which are simple enough, some 
are ingenious: but the statement of the text is, of itself, 
sufficient to show, that, according to the received opinion, 
of all the authorities, of the priority of the eighteen 
Puranas to the Bharata, it is impossible that the Sri 
Bhagavata, which is subsequent to the Bharata, should 
be of the number; and the evidence of style, the supe- 
riority of which to that of the Puranas in general is 
admitted by the disputants, is also proof that it is the 
work of a different hand. Whether the Devi Bhaga- 
vata have a better title to be considered as an original 
composition of Vyasa, is equally questionable; but it 
cannot be doubted that the Sri Bhagavata is the product 
of uninspired erudition. There does not seem to be 
any other ground than tradition for ascribing it to 
Bopadeva the grammarian: but there is no reason to 
call the tradition in question. Bopadeva flourished at 
the court of Hemadri, Raja of Devagiri, Deogur or 
Dowlutabad, and must, consequently, have lived prior 
to the conquest of that principality by the Moham- 
medans in the fourteenth century. The date of the 

* See Buinours edition of the Bhagavata- purdna, Vol. I., Preface 
p. LXII., note. 


twelfth century,"' commonly assigned to him, is, pro- 
bably, correct, and is that of the Bhagavata Purana. 

6. Narada or Naradiya Piirana. "Where Narada has 
described the duties which were observed in the Bfihat 
Kalpa, that is called the Naradiya, having twenty-five 
thousand stanzas."^ If the number of verses be here 
correctly stated, the Purana has not fallen into my 
hands. The copy I have analysed contains not many 
more than three thousand slokas. There is another 
work, which might be expected to be of greater extent, 
the Brihan Naradiya or great Narada Purana; but this, 
according to the concurrence of three copies in my 
possession, and of five others in the Company's library, 
contains but about three thousand five hundred verses. 
It may be doubted, therefore, if the Narada Purana of 
the Matsya exists." 

According to the Matsya, the Narada Purana is related 

- The description of Vishnu, translated by Colonel Vans 
Kennedy ^Researches into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient 
and Hindu Mythology, p. 200") from the Naradiya Purana, occurs 
in my copy of the Brihan Naradiya. There is no Narada Purana 
in the East India Company's library, though, as noticed in the 
text, several of the Brihan Naradiya. There is a copy of the 
Rukmangada Charilra, said to be a part of the Sri Narada Purana. 

* Burnouf — Bhdgavata-purd/ia , Vol. I., Preface, p. LXIII., first note, 
and pp. XCVII, et seq. — would place Bopadeva in the second half of the 
thirteenth century. 

I follow the western and southern pandits in preferring Bopadeva to 
Vopadeva, as the name is ordinarily exhibited. 

Touching Bopadeva and Hemadri, see Dr. Aufrecht's Catalog. Cod. 
Manuscript., &c., pp. 37 and 38. 


by Narada, and gives an account of the Brihat Kalpa. 
The Naradiya Parana is communicated, by Narada, to 
the Rishis at Naimisharanya, on the Gomati river. The 
Brihan Naradiya is related to the same persons, at the 
same place, by Siita, as it was told by Narada to Sanat- 
kumara. Possibly, the term Brihat may have been sug- 
gested by the specification which is given in theMatsya: 
but there is no description, in it, of any particular Kalpa 
or day of Brahma. 

From a cursory examination of these Puranas it is 
very evident that they have no conformity to the defini- 
tion of a Parana, and that both are sectarial and modern 
compilations, intended to support the doctrine ofBhakti 
or faith in Vishnu. With this view, they have collected 
a variety of prayers addressed to one or other form of 
that divinity; a number of observances and holy days 
connected with his adoration; and different legends, 
some, perhaps, of an early, others of a more recent, 
date, illusti'ative of the efficacy of devotion to Hari. 
Thus, in the Narada, we have the stories of Dhruva 
andPrahlada; the latter told in the words of the Vishnu: 
whilst the second portion of it is occupied with a legend 
of Mohini, the will-born daughter of a king called Ruk- 
mangada; beguiled by whom, the king offers to perform 
for her whatever she may desire. She calls upon him 
either to violate the rale of fasting on the eleventh day 
of the fortnight, a day sacred to Vishnu, or to put his 
son to death; and he kills his son, as the lesser sin of 
the two. This shows the spirit of the work. Its date 
may also be inferred from its tenor ; as such monstrous 
extravagancies in praise ofBhakti are, certainly, of mo- 
dern origin. One limit it furnishes, itself; for it refers 


to Suka and Parikshit, the interlocutors of the Bhaga- 
vata: and it is, consequently, subsequent to the date 
of that Purafia. It is, probably, considerably later: for 
it affords evidence that it was written after India was 
in the hands of the Mohammedans. In the concluding 
passage it is said: "Let not this Purana be I'epeated in 
the presence of the 'killers of comas' and contemners 
of the gods." It is, possibly, a compilation of the six- 
teenth or seventeenth century. 

The Brihan Narad iy a is a work of the same tenor 
and time. It contains little else than panegyrical prayers 
addressed to Vishnu, and injunctions to observe various 
rites, and keep holy certain seasons, in honour of him. 
The earlier legends introduced are the birth of Mar- 
kafideya, the destruction of Sagara's sons, and the dwarf 
Avatara; but they are subservient to the design of the 
whole, and are rendered occasions for praising Na- 
rayana. Others, illustrating the efficacy of certain 
Vaishnava observances, are puerile inventions, wholly 
foreign to the more ancient system of Pauranik fiction. 
There is no attempt at cosmogony, or patriarchal or 
regal genealogy. It is possible that these topics may 
be treated of in the missing stanzas: but it seems more 
likely that the Narada Purana of the lists has little in 
common with the works to which its name is applied 
in Bengal and Hindusthan. 

7. Markahda or Markandeya Purana. "That Purana 
in which, commencing with the story of the birds that 
were acquainted with right and wrong, everything is 
narrated fully by Markandeya, as it was explained by 
holy sages, in reply to the question of the Muni, is 
called the Markandeya, containing nine thousand ver- 


ses."* This is so called from its being, in the lirst in- 
stance, narrated byMarkandeyaMuni, and, in the second 
place, by certain fabulous birds; thus far agreeing with 
the account given of it in the Matsya. That, as well 
as other authorities, specify its containing nine thousand 
stanzas; but my copy closes with a verse affirming that 
the number of verses recited by the Muni was six thou- 
sand nine hundred; and a copy in the East India Com- 
pany's library has a similar specification. The termi- 
nation is, however, somewhat abrupt; and there is no 
reason why the subject with which it ends should not 
have been carried on further. One copy in the Com- 
pany's library, indeed, belonging to the Guicowar s 
collection, states, at the close, that it is the end of the 
first Khanda or section. If the Purana was ever com- 
pleted, the remaining portion of it appears to be lost.* 
Jaimini, the pupil of Vyasa, applies to Markahdeya 
to be made acquainted with the nature of Vasudeva, 
and for an explanation of some of the incidents de- 
scribed in theMahabharata; with the ambrosia of which 
divine poem, Vyasa, he declares, has watered the whole 
world : a reference which establishes the priority of the 
Bharata to the Markandeya Purana, however incom- 

JTHlf 'T^^W 'n^x^^t'T^^H lit 

* See the Rev, Krishnamohan Banerjea's edition of the MnrkoMeya- 
purdna, Introduction, pp, 26, 31, and 32. 

t Two MSS. of the Matsya-purdna, out of four within my reach, omit 
the second and third lines. The other two give the second as follows : 


patible this may be with the tradition, that, having 
finished the Piirai'ias, Vyasa wrote the poem.* 

Markandeya excuses himself, sayinghehasareUgious 
rite to perform; and he refers Jaimini to some very 
sapient birds who reside in the Vindhya mountains; 
birds of a celestial origin, found, when just born, by 
the Muni Samika, on the field of Kurukshetra, and 
brought up, by him, along with his scholars: in conse- 
quence of which, and by virtue of their heavenly descent, 
they became profoundly versed in the Vedas and a 
knowledge of spiritual truth. This machinery is bor- 
rowed from the Mahabharata, with some embellishment. 
Jaimini, accordingly, has recourse to the birds, Pingak- 
sha and his brethren, and puts to them the questions 
he had asked of the Muni: "Why was Vasudeva born 
as a mortal? How was it that Draupadi was the wife 
of the five Pandus? Why did Baladeva do penance 
for Brahmanicide? And why were the children of 
Draupadi destroyed, when they had Krishna and Ar- 
juna to defend them?*' The answers to these inquiries 
occupy a number of chapters, and form a sort of supple- 

* In his account of the 3Idrkancleyu-piird/ia, Professor Banerjea says: 
"We cannot help noticing, in this place, the dignity imputed to the 
■work under review. It is classed in the same category with the Vedas, 
and described as an immediate product from Brahma's mouth. Although 
a Puraiia, it is not attributed to Vyasa, whom other Sastras consider as 
the author of all works bearing that title. The Markandeya, however, 
does not acknowledge him as its composer, editor, Of compiler. It claims 
equal honour, in this respect, with the Vedas themselves." 

Again, with reference to the list spoken of in pp. XXIII. and XLV., supra: 
"As far as we have seen Bengal Manuscripts, the Markandeya presents a 
singular exception to this hackneyed enumeration of the eighteen Puraiias, 
and the celebration of Vyasa's name as the author of them all. The 
Maithila manuscripts, as they are commonly called, are not so chaste." 
Jbid., Preface, pp. 15 and 16. 


ment to the Mahabharata; supplying, partly by inven- 
tion, perhaps, and partly by reference to equally ancient 
authorities, the blanks left in some of its narrations. 

Legends of Vritrasura's death, Baladeva's penance, 
Harischandra's elevation to heaven, and the quarrel 
between Vasishtha and Viswamitra, are followed by a 
discussion respecting birth, death, and sin; which leads 
to a more extended description of the different hells 
than is found in otherPuranas. The account of creation 
which is contained in this work is repeated, by the 
birds, after Markandeya's account of it to Kraushtuki, 
and is confined to the origin of the Vedas and patri- 
archal families, amongst whom are new characters, as 
Duhsaha and his wife Marshti, and their descendants; 
allegorical personages, representing intolerable iniquity 
and its consequences. There is then a description of 
the world, with, as usual to this Purana, several singu- 
larities, some of which are noticed in the following 
pages. This being the state of the world in the Swa- 
yambhuva Manwantara, an account of the other Man- 
wan taras succeeds, in which the births of the Manus, 
and a number of other particulars, are peculiar to this 
work. The present or Vaivaswata Manwantara is very 
briefly passed over; but the next, the first of the future 
Manwantaras, contains the long episodical narrative of 
the actions of the goddess Durga, which is the especial 
boast of this Purana, and is the text-book of the wor- 
shippers of Kali, Chahdi, or Durga, in Bengal. It is 
the Chandi Patha, or Durga Mahatmya, in which the 
victories of the goddess over different evil beings or 
Asuras are detailed with considerable power and spirit. 
It is read daily in the temples of Durga, and furnishes 


the pomp and circumstance of the great festival of Ben- 
gal, the Durgapiija, or public worship of that goddess/ 

After the account of the Manwantaras is completed, 
there follows a series of legends, some new, some old, 
relating to the Sun and his posterity; continued to Vai- 
vaswata Manu and his sons, and their immediate des- 
cendants; terminating with Dama, the son of Narish- 
yanta.' Of most of the persons noticed the work nar- 
rates particulars not found elsewhere. 

This Purana has a character different from that of 
all the others. It has nothing of a sectarial spirit, little 
of a religious tone; rarely inserting prayers and invo- 
cations to any deity; and such as are inserted are brief 
and moderate. It deals little in precepts, ceremonial 
or moral. Its leading feature is narrative; and it pre- 
sents an uninterrupted succession of legends, most of 
which, when ancient, are embellished with new circum- 
stances, and, when new, jDartake so far of the spirit of 
the old, that they are disinterested creations of the 
imagination, having no particular motive, being de- 
signed to recommend no special doctrine or obser- 
vance. Whether they are derived from any other source, 
or whether they are original inventions, it is not pos- 
sible to ascei'tain. They are, most probably, for the 
greater part, at least, original ; and the whole has been 
narrated in the compiler's own manner; a manner 
superior to that of the Puranas in general, with ex- 
ception of the Bhagavata. 

' A tninslation into English^, by a Madras Pandit, Kavali Veii- 
kata Ramaswamin, was published at Calcutta, in 1823. 
^ See Vishnu Puraria, Book IV., Chapter I. 


It is not easy to conjecture a date for this Parana. 
It is subsequent to the Mahabharata: but how long 
subsequent, is doubtful. It is, unquestionably, more 
ancient than such works as the Brahma, Padma, and 
Naradiya Puranas; and its freedom from sectarial bias 
is a reason for supposing it anterior to the Bhagavata. 
At the same time, its partial conformity to the defini- 
tion of a Purana, and the tenor of the additions which 
it has made to received legends and traditions, indicate 
a not very remote age; and, in the absence of any guide 
to a more positive conclusion, it may, conjecturally, 
be placed in the ninth or tenth century. 

8. Agni Purana. "That Purana which describes the 
occurrences of the IsanaKalpa, and was related by Agni 
to Vasishtha, is called the Agneya. It consists of six- 
teen thousand stanzas."^ The Agni or Agneya Purana 
derives its name from its having being communicated, 
originally, by Agni, the deity of fire, to the Muni Va- 
sishtha, for the purpose of instructing him in the two- 
fold knowledge of Brahma. '^ By him it was taught to 
Vyasa, who imparted it to Siita; and the latter is re- 
presented as repeating it to the Rishis at Naimisha- 
ranya. Its contents are variously specified as sixteen 
thousand, fifteen thousand, or fourteen thousand, stanzas. 
The two copies which were employed by me contain 
about fifteen thousand slokas. There are two, in the 

' See Book VI., Chapter V. 


Company's library, which do not extend beyond twelve 
thousand verses; but they are, in many other respects, 
different from mine. One of them was written at Agra, 
in the reign of Akbar, in A. D. 1589. 

The Agni Purana, in the form in which it has been 
obtained in Bengal and at Benares, presents a striking 
contrast to the Markandeya. It may be doubted if a 
single line of it is original. A very great proportion 
of it may be traced to other sources; and a more care- 
ful collation — if the task was worth the time it would 
require — would probably discover the remainder. 

The early chapters of this Purana^ describe the 
Avataras, and, in those of Rama and Krishna, avowedly 
follow theRamayana andMahabharata. A considerable 
portion is then appropriated to instructions for the per- 
formance of religious ceremonies; many ofwhichbelong 
to the Tantrika ritual, and are, apparently, transcribed 
from the principal authorities of that system. Some 
belong to mystical forms of Saiva w^orship, little known 
in Hindusthan, though, perhaps, still practised in the 
south. One of these is the Diksha or initiation of a 
novice; by which, with numerous ceremonies and in- 
vocations, in which the mysterious monosyllables of 
the Tantras are constantly repeated, the disciple is 
transformed into a living personation of Siva, and re- 
ceives, in that capacity, the homage of his Guru. Inter- 

' Analysis of the Agni Puraria : Journal of the Asiatic Society 
of Bengal, March, 1832.* I have there stated, incorrectly, that 
the Agni is a Vaishnava Purana. It is one of the Tamasa or 
Saiva class, as mentioned above. 

* See Professor Wilson's collected works, "Vol. III. 


spersecl with these are chapters descriptive of the earth 
and of the universe, which are the same as those of 
the Vishnu Purana; and Mahatmyas or legends of holy 
places, particularly of Gaya. Chapters on the duties 
of kings and on the art of war then occur, which have 
the appearance of being extracted from some older 
work, as is, undoubtedly, the chapter on judicature,* 
which follows them, and which is the same as the text 
of the Mitakshara. Subsequent to these we have an 
account of the distribution and arrangement of the 
Vedas and Puranas, which is little else than an abridg- 
ment of the Vishnu; and, in a chapter on gifts, we have 
a description of the Puranas, which is precisely the 
same, and in the same situation, as the similar subject 
in the Matsya Purana. The genealogical chapters are 
meagre lists, differing, in a few respects, from those 
commonly received, as hereafter noticed, but unaccom- 
panied by any particulars such as those recorded or 
invented in the Markandeya. The next subject is medi- 
cine, compiled, avowedly, but injudiciously, from the 
Sausruta. A series of chapters on the mystic worship 
of Siva and Devi follows; and the work winds up with 
treatises on rhetoric, prosody, and grammar, according 
to the Sutras of Pingala and Panini. 

The cycloptedical character of the Agni Purana, as 
it is now described, excludes it from any legitimate 
claims to be regarded as a Purana, and proves that its 

• According to Dr. Aufrecht: "Haec pars, pancis mutatis et additis, 
ex Yajnavalkyae legiim codice desumta est." Then follows "Rigvidhanam, 
i. e., Rigvedi hymni sive disticha ad varias siiperstitiones adhibenda. 
Haec pars e Rigvidhana libello, qui et ipse serae originis indicia prae se 
fert excerpta est, multique versus ad literam cum illo consentiunt." 
Catalog. Cod. Manuscript., &c., p. 7. 


origin cannot be very remote. It is subsequent to the 
Itihasas, to the chief works on grammar, rhetoric, and 
medicine, and to the introduction of the Tantrika 
worship of Devi. When this latter took place, is yet 
far from determined; but there is every probability 
that it dates long after the beginnino; of our era. The 
materials of the Agni Punina are, however, no doubt, 
of some antiquity. The medicine of Susruta is con- 
siderably older than the ninth century; and the gram- 
mar of Pahini probably precedes Christianity. The 
chapters on archery and arms, and on regal adminis- 
tration, are also distinguished by an entirely Hindu 
character, and must have been written long anterior 
to the Mohammedan invasion. So far the Agni Puraha 
is valuable, as embodying and preserving relics of 
antiquity, although compiled at a more recent date. 

Colonel Wilford^ has made great use of a list of 
kings derived from an appendix to the Agni Purana, 
which professes to be the sixty-third or last section. 
As he observes, it is seldom found annexed to the 
Puraha. I have never met with it, and doubt its ever 
having formed any part of the original compilation. 
It would appear, from Colonel Wilford's remarks, that 
this list notices Mohammed as the institutor of an era: 
but his account of this is not very distinct. He men- 
tions, explicitly, however, that the list speaks of Sali- 
vahana and Vikramaditya: and this is quite sufficient 
to establish its character. The compilers of thePurahas 
were not such bunglers as to brhig within their chro- 

' Essay on Vikramaditya and Salivahana: As. Res., Vol. IX., 
p. 131. 


nology so well known a personage as Vikramaditya. 
There are, in all parts of Tnclia, various compilations 
ascribed to the Puranas, which never formed any por- 
tion of their contents, and which, although offering, 
sometimes, useful local information, and valuable as 
preserving popular traditions, are not, in justice, to be 
confounded with the Puranas, so as to cause them to 
be charged w^ith even more serious errors and ana- 
chronisms than those of which they are guilty. 

The two copies of this work in the library of the 
East India Company a23propriate the first half to a 
description of the ordinary and occasional observances 
of the Hindus, interspersed with a few legends. The 
latter half treats exclusively of the history of Rama. 

9. BhavishyaPuraha. "ThePurana in whichBrahma, 
having described the greatness of the sun, explained to 
Manu the existence of the world, and the characters 
of all created things, in the course of the AghoraKalpa, 
that is called the Bhavishya; the stories being, for the 
most part, the events of a future period. It contains 
fourteen thousand five hundred stanzas.''^ ThisPurana, 
as the name implies, should be a book of prophecies, 
foretelling what will be (bhavishyati), as the Matsya 
Purana intimates. Whether such a w^ork exists, is 
doubtful. The copies, which appear to be entire, and 
of which there are three in the library of the East 
India Company, agreeing, in their contents, with two 

'^^^^ ^f^fW ff^ ^W IffHt^ ^ II 


in my possession, contain about seven thousand stan- 
zas. There is another work, entitled the Bhavishyot- 
tara, as if it was a continuation or supplement of the 
former, containing, also, about seven thousand verses: 
but the subjects of both these works are but to a very 
imperfect degree analogous to those to which the Mat- 
sya alludes/ 

The Bhavishya Purana, as I have it, is a work in a 
hundred and twenty-six short chapters, repeated by 
Sumantu to Satanika, a king of the Pai'idu family. He 
notices, however, its having originated with Sway an'ibhu 
or Brahma, and describes it as consisting of live parts; 
four dedicated, it should seem, to as many deities, as 
they are termed, Brahma, Vaishnava, Saiva, and Twash- 
tra; whilst the fifth is the Pratisarga or repeated cre- 
ation. Possibly, the first part only may have come 
into my hands; although it does not so appear by the 

Whatever it may be, the work in question is not a 
Purana. The first portion, indeed, treats of creation; 
but it is little else than a transcript of the words of 
the first chapter of Manu. The rest is entirely a manual 
of religious rites and ceremonies. It explains the ten 
Samskaras or initiatory rites; the performance of the 
Sandhya; the reverence to be shown to a Guru; the 
duties of the different Asramas and castes; and enjoins 
a number of Vratas or observances of fasting and the 

* Colonel Vans Kennedy states that he had "not been able 
to procure the Bhavishya Purana, nor even to obtain any account 
of its contents." Researches into the Nature and Affinity of 
Ancient and Hindu Mythology, p. 153, note. 


like, appropriate to different lunar days. A few legends 
enliven the series of precepts. That of the sage Chya- 
vana is told at considerable length, taken, chiefly, from 
theMahabharata. TheNaga Panchanii, or fifth lunation 
sacred to the serpent-gods, gives rise to a description 
of different sorts of snakes. After these, which occupy 
about one third of the chapters, the remainder of them 
conform, in subject, to one of the topics referred to by 
the Matsya. They chiefly represent conversations be- 
tween Krishna, his son Samba,— who had become a leper 
by the curse of Durvasas,— Vasishtha, Narada, and 
Vyasa, upon the power and glory of the Sun, and the 
manner in which he is to be worshipped. There is 
some curious matter in the last chapters, relating to 
the Magas, silent w^orshippers of the sun, from Saka- 
dwipa; as if the compiler had adopted the Persian term 
Magh, and connected the fire-worshippers of Iran with 
those of India. This is a subject, however, that requires 
further investigation. 

The Bhavishyottara is, equally with the preceding, 
a sort of manual of religious offices; the greater portion 
being appropriated to Vratas, and the remainder, to 
the forms and circumstances with which gifts are to 
be presented. Many of the ceremonies are obsolete, 
or are observed in a different manner, as the Ratha- 
yatra or car-festival, and the Madanotsava or festival 
of spring. The descriptions of these throw some light 
upon the public condition of the Hindu religion at a 
period probably prior to the Mohammedan conquest. 
The different ceremonies are illustrated by legends, 
which are, sometimes, ancient: as, for instance, the de- 
struction of the god of love by Siva, and his thence 


becoming Ananga, the disembodied lord of hearts. 
The work is supposed to be communicated by Krishna 
to Yudhishthira, at a great assemblage of holy persons 
at the coronation of the latter, after the conclusion of 
the Great War. 

10. Brahma Vaivarta Puraiia. "ThatPuraha which 
is related by Savarhi to Narada, and contains the ac- 
count of the greatness of Krishna, with the occurrences 
of the Rathantara Kalpa, where, also, the story of Brahma- 
vaniha is repeatedly told, is called the Brahma Vaivarta, 
and contains eighteen thousand stanzas." ^ The account 
here given of the Brahma Vaivarta Puraria agrees with 
its present state, as to its extent. The copies rather 
exceed than fall short of eighteen thousand stanzas. 
It also correctly represents its comprising a Mahatmya 
or legend of Krishna; but it is very doubtful, never- 
theless, if the same work is intended. 

The Brahma Vaivarta, as it now exists, is narrated, 
not by Savarhi, but the Rishi Nfirayaha, to Narada, by 
whom it is communicated to Vyasa: he teaches it to 
Siita; and the latter repeats it to the Risliis at Nai- 
misharahya. It is divided into fourKhaiidas or books, 
the Brahma, Prakriti, Gahesa, and Krishna Janma 
Khahdas; dedicated, severally, to describe the acts of 
Brahma, Devi, Gahesa, and Krishna; the latter, how- 
ever, throughout absorbing the interest and importance 
of the work. In none of these is there any account of 


the Varaha Avatara of Vishnu, — which seems to be 
intended by the Matsya, — nor any reference to a Ra- 
thantara Kalpa. It may also be observed, that, in 
describing the merit of presenting a copy of this Pii- 
rana, the Matsya adds: "Whoever makes such gift is 
honoured in the Brahma-loka";* a sphere which is of 
very inferior dignity to that to which a worshipper of 
Krishna is taught to aspire by this Purana. The cha- 
racter of the work is, in truth, so decidedly sectarial, 
and the sect to which it belongs so distinctly marked,— 
that of the worshippers of the juvenile Krishna and 
Radha, a form of belief of known modern origin,— that 
it can scarcely have found a notice in a work to which, 
like the Matsya, a much more remote date seems to 
belong. Although, therefore, the Matsya may be re- 
ceived in proof of there having been a Brahma Vai- 
varta Purana at the date of its compilation, dedicated 
especially to the honour of Krishna, yet we cannot 
credit the possibility of its being the same we now 
. Although some of the legends believed to be ancient 
are scattered through the different portions of this 
Purana, yet the great mass of it is taken up with tire- 
some descriptions of Vrindavana and Goloka, the dwell- 
ings of Krishna on earth and in heaven; with endless 
repetitions of prayers and invocations addressed to 
him; and with insipid descriptions of his person and 
sports, and the love of the Gopis and of Radha towards 
him. There are some particulars of the origin of the 


artificer castes,— which is of vahie, because it is cited as 
authority in matters afYecting them,— contained in the 
Brahma Khahda; and, in the Prakriti and Ganesa 
Khandas, are legends of those divinities, not wholly, 
perhaps, modern inventions, but of which the source 
has not been traced. In the life of Krishna, the in- 
cidents recorded are the same as those narrated in the 
Vishnu and the Bhagavata; but the stories, absurd as 
they are, are much compressed, to make I'oom for ori- 
ginal matter still more puerile and tiresome. The 
Brahma Vaivarta has not the slightest title to be re- 
garded as a Purana. ^ 

11. Linga Purana. "Where Maheswara, present in 
the Agni Linga, explained (the objects of life) virtue, 
wealth, pleasure, and final liberation at the end of the 
Agni Kalpa,""' thatPuraha, consisting of eleven thousand 
stanzas, was called the Lainga by Brahma hhnself."^ 

The Linga Purana conforms, accurately enough, to 
this description. The Kalpa is said to be the Isana: 
but this is the only difference. It consists of eleven 
thousand stanzas. It is said to have been originally 
composed by Brahma; and the primitive Linga is a 

' Analysis of the Brahma Vaivarta Puraiia: Journal of the 
Asiatic Society of Bengal, June, 1832. f 

^T^ tl^f^^W f^TW WWWT ^^TT^ I 
cr^T^li^Tf^ -JC- -::- -k- i'f * •?? -js- -3;- ii 

* ? Instead of Professor Wilson's cJ5^X«ft &c., one of the MSS. I have 
seen has ^!^T«rf^^«»; another, '^{^TnTf^|[^*» ; and another, cj}^ 
fT^^*; while the fourtli is liere corrupt past mendhig by conjecture. 

t See Professor Wilson's collected works, Vol. III. 


pillar of radiance, in which Maheswara is present. The 
work is, therefore, the same as that referred to by the 

A short account is given, in the beginning, of ele- 
mental and secondary creation, and of the patriarchal 
families; in which, however, Siva takes, the place of 
Vishnu, as the indescribable cause of all things. Brief 
accounts of Siva's incarnations and proceedings in 
different Kalpas next occur, offering no interest, except 
as characteristic of sectarial notions. The appearance 
of the great fiery Linga takes place, in the interval of 
a creation, to separate Vishnu and Brahma, who not 
only dispute the palm of supremacy, but fight for it; 
when the Linga suddenly springs up, and puts them 
both to shame; as, after travelling upwards and down- 
wards for a thousand years in each direction, neither 
can approach to its termination. Upon the Linga the 
sacred monosyllable Om is visible; and the Vedas pro- 
ceed from it, by which Brahma and Vishnu become 
enlightened, and acknowledge and eulogize the superior 
might and glory of Siva. 

A notice of the creation in the Padma Kalpa then 
follows; and this leads to praises of Siva by Vishnu 
and Brahma. Siva repeats the story of his incarna- 
tions, twenty-eight in number; intended as a counter- 
part, no doubt, to the twenty-four Avataras of Vishnu, 
as described in the Bhagavata; and both being ampli- 
fications of the original ten Avataras, and of much less 
merit as fictions. Another instance of rivalry occurs 
in the legend of Dadhichi, a Muni, and worshipper of 
Siva. Li the Bhagavata, there is a story of Ambarisha 
being defended against Durvasas by the discus of Vishnu, 


against which that Saiva sage is helpless. Here, Vishnu 
hurls his discus at Dadhichi: but it falls, blunted, to 
the ground; and a conflict ensues, in which Vishnu 
and his partisans are all overthrown by the Muni. 

A description of the universe, and of the regal dy- 
nasties of the Vaivaswata Manwantara to the time of 
Krishna, runs through a number of chapters, in sub- 
stance, and, very commonly, in words, the same as in 
other Puranas; after which the work resumes its proper 
character, narrating legends, and enjoining rites, and 
reciting prayers, intending to do honour to Siva under 
various forms. Although, however, the Linga holds a 
prominent place amongst them, the spirit of the worship 
is as little influenced by the character of the type as 
can well be imagined. There is nothing like the phallic 
orgies of antiquity : it is all mystical and spiritual. The 
Linga is twofold, external and internal. The ignorant, 
who need a visible sign, worship Siva through a 'mark' 
or 'type' — which is the proper meaning of the word 
'Linga' — of wood, or stone; but the wise look upon 
this outward emblem as nothing, and contemplate, in 
their minds, the invisible, inscrutable type, which is 
Siva himself. Whatever may have been the origin of 
this form of worship in India, the notions upon which 
it was founded, according to the impure fancies of 
European writers, are not to be traced in even the 
Saiva Puranas. 

Data for conjecturing the era of this work are de- 
fective. But it is more a ritual than aPurana; and the 
Paurahik chapters which it has inserted, in order to 
keep up something of its character, have been, evidently, 
borrowed for the purpose. The incarnations of Siva, 


and their 'pupils', as specified in one place, and the 
importance attached to the practice of the Yoga, render 
it possible that, under the former, are intended those 
teachers of the Saiva religion who belong to the Yoga 
school,^ which seems to have flourished about the 
eighth or ninth centuries. It is not likely that the work 
is earlier: it may be considerably later. It has pre- 
served, apparently, some Saiva legends of an early 
date; but the greater part is ritual and mysticism of 
comparatively recent introduction. 

12. Varaha Purana. "That in which the glory of 
the great Varaha is predominant, as it was revealed to 
Earth by Vishnu, in connexion, wise Munis, with the 
Manava Kalpa, and which contains twenty-four thou- 
sand verses, is called the Varc4ha Purana."^ 

It may be doubted if the Varaha Purana of the pre- 
sent day is here intended. It is narrated by Vishnu 
as Varaha, or in the boar incarnation, to the personified 
Earth. Its extent, however, is not half that specified; 
little exceeding ten thousand stanzas. It furnishes, also, 
itself, evidence of the prior currency of some other 
work, similarly denominated; as, in the description of 
Mathura contained in it, Sumantu, a Muni, is made to 
observe: "The divineVaraha in former times expounded 
a Purana, for the purpose of, solving the perplexity of 

* See Asiatic Researches, Vol, XVII., p. 187. * 
^gff ^(^f^TfW ffrqTTWf^fr^^ II 

* See Professor Wilson's collective works, Vol. I., p. 205. 


Nor can the Varaha Piu-ana be regarded as a Parana 
agreeably to the common definition; as it contains but 
a few scattered and brief alhisions to the creation of 
the world and the reign of kings: it has no detailed 
genealogies, either of the patriarchal or regal families, 
and no account of the reigns of the Manus. Like the 
Linga Purana, it is a religious manual, almost wholly 
occupied with forms of prayer and rules for devotional 
observances, addressed to Vishnu; interspersed with 
legendary illustrations, most of which are peculiar to 
itself, though some are taken from the common and 
ancient stock. Many of them, rather incompatibly with 
the general scope of the compilation, relate to the 
history of Siva and Durga.^ A considerable portion 
of the work is devoted to descriptions of various 
Tirthas, places of Vaishnava pilgrimage; and one of 
Mathura enters into a variety of particulars relating to 
the shrines of that city, constituting the Mathura Ma- 
li iltmy a. 

In the sectarianism of the Varaha Purana there is 
no leaning to the particular adoration of Krishna; nor 
are the Rathayatra and Janmashtami included amongst 
the observances enjoined. There are other hidications 
of its belonging to an earlier stage of Vaishnava wor- 
ship; and it may, perhaps, be referred to the age of 
Riimanuja, the early part of the twelfth century. 

' One of these is translated by Colonel Vans Kennedy, the 
origin of the three Saktis or goddesses, Saraswati, Lakshnii, and 
Farvati. Researches into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient and 
Hindu Mythology , p. 209. The Tri Sakti Mahatmya occurs , as 
he gives it, in my copy, and is, so far, an indication of the iden- 
tity of the Varaha Purana in the different MSS. 


13. Skancla Parana. "The Skancla Purana is that m 
which the six-faced deity (Skanda) has related the 
events of the Tatpurusha Kalpa, enlarged with many 
tales, and subservient to the duties taught by Malie- 
swara. Is is said to contain eighty-one thousand one 
hundred stanzas: so it is asserted amongst mankind."* 

It is uniformly agreed that the Skanda Purana, in a 
collective form, has no existence; and the fragments, in 
the shape of Samhitas, Khandas, andMahatmyas, which 
are affirmed, in various parts of India, to be portions 
of the Purana, present a much more formidable mass 
of stanzas than even the immense number of which it 
is said to consist. The most celebrated of these portions, 
in Hindusthan, is the Kasi Khan da, a very minute de- 
scription of the temples of Siva in or adjacent to Be- 
nares, mixed with directions for worshipping Malie- 
swara, and a great variety of legends explanatory of 
its merits and of the holiness of Kasi. Many of them 
are puerile and uninteresting; but some are of a higher 
character. The story of Agastya records, probably, in 
a legendary style, the propagation of Hinduism in the 
south of India; and, in the history of Divodasa, king 
of Kasi, we have an embellished tradition of the tem- 
porary depression of the worship of Siva, even in its 
metropolis , before the ascendancy of the followers of 
Buddha.^ There is every reason to believe the greater 

The legend is translated by Colonel Vans Kennedy: Re- 


part of the contents of the Kasi Khanda anterior to 
the fu'st attack upon Benares by Mahniud of Ghizni. 
The Kasi Khai'ida alone contains fifteen thousand stanzas. 
Another considerable work ascribed, in Upper India, 
to the Skanda Purana, is the XJtkala Khanda, giving 
an account of the holiness of Orissa, and the Kshetra 
of Purushottaraa or Ja^'annatha. The same vicinage 
is the site of temples, once of great magnificence and 
extent, dedicated to Siva, as Bhuvanesv^ara, v^^hich 
forms an excuse for attaching an account of a Vaish- 
hava Tirtha to an eminently Saiva Parana. There can 
be little doubt, however, that the XJtkala Khanda is 
unwarrantably included amongst the progeny of the 
parent work. Besides these, there is a Brahmottara 
Khaiida, a Reva Khanda, a Siva Rahasya Khanda, a 
Himavat Khanda, and others. Of the Samhitas the 
chief are the Siita Saihhita, Sanatkumara San'ihita, 
Saura Sanahita, and Kapila Samhita: thei'e are several 
other works denominated Samhitas. The Mahatmyas 
are more numerous still. ^ According to the Siita Sam- 
hita, as quoted by Colonel Vans Kennedy," the Skanda 

searches into the Natiu'e and Affinity of Ancient and Hindu My- 
thology, Appendix B. 

' In a list of reputed portions of the Skanda Purana in the 
possession of my friend, Mr. C. P. Brown, of the Civil Service of 
Madras, the Samhitas are seven, the Khaiidas, twelve, besides 
parts denominated Gita, Kalpa, Stotra, &c. In the collection of 
Colonel Mackenzie, amongst the Mahatmyas, thirty-six are said 
to belong to the Skanda Purana. Vol. I., p. 61. In the library 
at the India House are two Sahdiitas, the Siita and Sanatkumara, 
fourteen Khaiidas, and twelve Mahatmyas. 

- Researches into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient and 
Hindu Mythology, p. 154, note. 


Parana contains six San'ihittis, live hundred Khandas, 
and five hundred thousand stanzas; more than is even 
attributed to all the Puraiias. He thinks, judging from 
internal evidence, that all the Khandas and Sanihitas 
may be admitted to be genuine , though the Mahatmyas 
have rather a questionable appearance. Now, one kind 
of internal evidence is the quantity; and, as no more 
than eighty-one thousand one hundred stanzas have ever 
been claimed for it,* all in excess above that amount 
must be questionable . But many of the Khandas, the Kasi 
Khanda, for instance, are quite as local as the Mahat- 
myas; being legendary stories relating to the erection 
and sanctity of certain temples, or groups of temples, 
and to certain Lingas; the interested origin of which 
renders them, very reasonably, objects of suspicion. 
In the present state of our acquaintance with the re- 
puted portions of the Skanda Parana, my own views of 
their authenticity are so opposed to those entertained by 
Colonel Vans Kennedy, that, instead of admitting all the 
Samhitiis and Khandas to be genuine, I doubt if any 
one of them was ever a part of the Skanda Purana. 

14. Vamana Purana. "That in which the four-faced 
Brahma taught the three objects of existence, as sub- 
servient to the account of the greatness of Trivikrama, 
which treats, also, of the Siva Kalpa, and which consists 
often thousand stanzas, is called the Vamana Purana."^ 

* But see the end of my third note in p, XXIV., supra. 

t Professor Wilson here omitted a word of two syllables — , probably, 


The Vainana Parjiiia contains an account of the 
dwarf incarnation of Vishiui: but it is related by Pula- 
Btya to Narada, and extends to but about seven thou- 
sand stanzas. Its contents scarcely establish its claim 
to the character of a Purana. ^ 

There is little or no order in the subjects which this 
work recapitulates, and which arise out of replies made 
by Pulastya to questions put, abruptly and unconnec- 
tedly, by Narada. The greater part of them relate to 
the worship of the Linga; a rather strange topic for a 
Vaishnava Purana, but engrossing the principal part 
of the compilation. They are, however, subservient 
to the object of illustrating the sanctity of certain holy 
places; so that the Vamana Purana is little else than 
a succession of Mahtitmyas. Thus, in the opening, 
almost, of the work occurs the story of Daksha's sacri- 
fice, the object of which is to send Siva to Papamo- 
chana Tirtha, at Benares, where he is released from 
the sin of Brahmanicide. Next comes the story of the 
burning of Kamadeva, for the purpose of illustrating 
the holiness of a Siva-linga at Kedareswara in the 
Himalaya, and of Badarikasrama. The larger part of 
the work consists of the Saro-mahatmya, or legendary 
exemplifications of the holiness of Sthanu Tirtha; that 

' From the extracts from the Vjimana Puraiia translated by 
Colonel Vans Kennedy, pp. 293, et seq., it appears that his copy 
so far corresponds with mine; and the work is, therefore, pro- 
bably, the same. Two copies in the Company's library also agree 
with mine. 

T^ITfT. Instead of this, one of the four MSS. of the Matsya-purdna in 
the India Office Library has ^R^o, and two have ^<R®. 


is , of the sanctity of various Lingas and certain pools 
at Thanesar and Kurukhet, the country north-west 
from Delhi. There are some stories, also, relating to 
the holiness of the Godavari river: but the general 
site of the legends is in Hindusthan. In the course of 
these accounts, we have a long narrative of the mar- 
riage of Siva with Uma, and the birth of Karttikeya. 
There are a few brief allusions to creation and the 
Manwantaras; but they are merely incidental: and all 
the five characteristics of a Purana are deficient. In 
noticing the Swarochisha Manwantara, towards the 
end of the book , the elevation of Bali as monarch of 
the Daityas, and his subjugation of the universe, the 
gods included, are described; and this leads to the 
narration that gives its title to the Purana, the birth 
of Krishna as a dwarf, for the purpose of humiliating 
Bali by fraud, as he was invincible by force. The story 
is told as usual; but the scene is laid at Kurukshetra. 

A more minute examination of this work than that 
which has been given to it, might, perhaps, discover 
some hint from which to conjecture its date. It is of 
a more tolerant character than thePuranas, and divides 
its homao-e between Siva and Vishnu with tolerable 
impartiality. It is not connected, therefore, with any 
sectarial principles, and may have preceded their in- 
troduction. It has not, however, the air of any anti- 
quity; and its compilation may have amused the leisure 
of some Brahman of Benares three or four centuries ago. 

15. Kurma Purjina. "That in which Janardana, in 
the form of a tortoise, in the regions under the earth, 
explained the objects of life — duty, wealth, pleasure, 
and liberation — in communication with Indradyumna 


and the Rishis in the proximity of Sakra, which refers 
to tlieLakshmi Kalpa, and contains seventeen thousand 
stanzas, is the Kiirma Purai'ia." ^ 

In the first chapter of the Kurma Purai'ia, it gives 
an account of itself, which does not exactly agree with 
this description. Siita, who is repeating the narration, 
is made to say to the Rishis: "This most excellent 
Kaurma Purana is the fifteenth. Samhitas are fourfold, 
from the variety of the collections. The Brahmi, Bha- 
gavati, Sauri, and Vaishhavi are well known as the 
four San'ihitas which confer virtue, wealth, pleasure, 
and liberation. This is the Brahmi Samhita, conformable 
to the four Vedas; in which there are six thousand 
slokas; and, by it, the importance of the four objects of 
life, great sages, holy knowledge and Parameswara 
is known."'"" There is an irreconcilable ditterence in 
this specification of the number of stanzas and that 

^g^^T ^f%rf ^T!?t ^ff fTT^ TTH^rr: II 

^fT^: ^fffTT*. 5^7 'tr^^T^T^'ft^^T: ii 

^^f% ^f f^TfW "^^T^TT^ ^^^T II 

^^ ^r^T^^Tfi^ ^^^ ^ ^^-g-?:!: I 
^TTTM^f^^ WW ^T^% ^T^^t: II 

So read llie best MSS. of the Kurma- purunn that are at present ac- 
cessible to me. 

t One of the four I. 0, L. MSS. of the Matsya-purdm has '^fcj'^Jf; | 


given above. It is not very clear what is meant by a 
Sambita, as here used. A Samhita, as observed above 
(p. XIX,), is something different from a Parana. It may 
be an assemblage of prayers and legends, extracted, 
professedly, from a Purana, but is not, usually, appli- 
cable to the original. The four Saiiihitas here specified 
refer rather to their religious character than to their 
connexion with any specific work; and, in fact, the 
same terms are applied to what are called Samhitas 
of the Skanda. In this sense, a Purana might be also 
a Samhita; that is, it might be an assemblage of formulae 
and legends belonging to a division of the Hindu sys- 
tem; and the work in question, like the Vishnu Purana, 
does adopt both titles. It says : "This is the excellent 
Kaurma Purana, the fifteenth (of the series)." And 
again: "This is the Brahmi Samhita." At any rate, no 
other work has been met with pretending to be the 
Kiirma Purana. 

With regard to the other particulars sj^ecified by 
the Matsya, traces of them are to be found. Although, 
in two accounts of the traditional communication of 
the Purana, no mention is made of Vishnu as one of 
the teachers, yet Siita repeats, at the outset, a dialogue 
between Vishnu, as the Kiirma, and Indradyumna, at 
the time of the churning of the ocean; and much of 
the subsequent narrative is put into the mouth of the 

The name, being that of an Avatara of Vishnu, might 
lead us to expect a Vaishnava work: but it is always, 
and correctly, classed with the Saiva Purahas; the 
greater portion of it inculcating the worship of Siva 
and Durga. It is divided into two parts, of nearly 


equal length. In the first part, accounts of the crea- 
tion, of the Avataras of Vishnu, of the solar and 
lunar dynasties of the kings to the time of Krishna, 
of the universe, and of the Manwantaras, are given, 
in general in a summary manner, but, not unfreqnently, 
in the words employed in the Vishnu Puraha. With 
these are blended hymns addressed to Maheswara by 
Brahma and others; the defeat of Andhakasura by 
Bhairava; the origin of four Saktis, Maheswari, Siva, 
Sati, andHaimavati, from Siva; and other Saiva legends. 
One chapter gives a more distinct and connected ac- 
count of the incarnations of Siva, in the present age, 
than the Linga; and it wears, still more, the appearance 
of an attempt to identify the teachers of the Yoga 
school with personations of their preferential deity. 
Several chapters form a Kiisi Mahatmya, a legend of 
Benares. In the second part there are no legends. It 
is divided into two parts, the Iswara Gita^ and Vyasa 
Gita. In the former, the knowledge of god, that is, of 
Siva, through contemplative devotion, is taught. In 
the latter, the same object is enjoined through works, 
or observance of the ceremonies and precepts of the 

The date of the Kiirma Puraha cannot be very re- 
mote; for it is, avowedly, posterior to the establishment 
of the Tantrika, the Sakta, and the Jaina sects. In the 
twelfth chapter it is said: "The Bhairava,- Varna, Arhata, 

' This is also translated by Colonel Vans Kennedy (Researches 
into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient and Hindu Mythology, 
Appendix D., p. 444); and, in this instance, as in other passages 
quoted by him from the Kunna, his MS. and mine agree. 


and Yamala Sastras are intended for delusion." There 
is no reason to believe that the Bhairava and Yamala 
Tantras are very ancient works, or that the practices 
of the left-hand Saktas, or the doctrines of Arhat or 
Jina, were known in the early centuries of our era. 

16. Matsya Puraha. "That in which, for the sake 
of promulgating the Vedas, Vishnu, in the beginning 
of a Kalpa, related to Manu the story of Narasimha 
and the events of seven Kalpas; that, sages, know 
to be the Matsya Puraha, containing twenty thousand 
stanzas." ^ 

We might, it is to be supposed, admit the description 
which the Matsya gives of itself to be correct; and yet, 
as regards the number of verses , there seems to be a 
misstatement. Three very good copies — one in my 
possession, one in the Company's library, and one in 
the Radcliffe library — concur in all respects, and in 
containing no more than between fourteen and fifteen 
thousand stanzas. In this case the Bhiigavata is nearer 
the truth, when it assigns to it fourteen thousand. We 
may conclude, therefore, that the reading of the passage 
is, in this respect, erroneous. "' It is correctly said, that 

' ^ff^^ ^^ ^iWr^l" TTfT^^ ^^T^: I 

* Two out of the four I. 0. L. MSS. of the Matsya-purdna — see the 
last line of the Sanskrit quoted in this page— give ^^4^TfW ^^^^^ 
"fourteen thousand"; and the others exhibit evident corruptions of the 
same reading. That this reading is to be preferred, we have, besides 
the evidence, adduced by Professor Wilson, of the Bhdyavata-purdna, 
that of the I kvi-bhdgavata and Bevd-ind/idtmya. 


the subjects of the Parana were communicated by 
Vishnu, in the form of a fish, to Manu. 

The Purana, after the usual prologue of Suta and 
the Rishis, opens with the account of the Matsya or 
'fish' Avatara of Vishnu, in which he preserves a king, 
named Manu, with the seeds of all things, in an ark, 
from the waters of that inundation which, in the season 
of a Pralaya, overspreads the world. This story is told 
in the Mahabharata, with reference to the Matsya as 
its authority; from which it might be inferred, that the 
Purana was prior to the poem. This, of course, is con- 
sistent with the tradition that the Puranas were first 
composed by Vyasa. But there can be no doubt that 
the greater part of the Mahabharata is much older than 
any extant Purana. The present instance is, itself, a 
proof; for the primitive simj^licity with which the story 
of the fish Avatara is told in the Mahabharata, is of a 
much more antique complexion than the mysticism and 
extravagance of the actual MatsyaPurana. In the former, 
Manu collects the seeds of existing things in the ark; it 
is not said how: in the latter, he brings them all together 
by the power of Yoga. In the latter, the great serpents 
come to the king, to serve as cords wherewith to fasten 
the ark to the horn of the fish: in theformer, a cable made 
of ropes is more intelligibly employed for the purpose. 

Whilst the ark floats, fastened to the fish, Manu 
enters into conversation with him; and his questions 
and the replies of Vishnu form the main substance of 
the compilation. The first subject is the creation, which 
is that of Brahma and the patriarchs. Some of the 
details are the usual ones; others are peculiar, especially 
those relating to the Pitris or progenitors. The regal 

I. f 


dynasties are next described; and then follow chapters 
on the duties of different orders. It is in relating those 
of the householder, in which the duty of making gifts 
to Brahmans is comprehended, that we have the spe- 
cification of the extent and subjects of the Puraiias. 
It is meritorious to have copies made of them, and to 
give these away on particular occasions. Thus, it is 
said, of the Matsya: "Whoever gives it away at either 
equinox, along with a golden fish and a milch cow, 
gives away the whole earth;"* that is, he reaps a like 
reward, in his next migration. Special duties of the 
householder — Vratas or occasional acts of piety — are 
then described at considerable length, with legendary 
illustrations. The account of the universe is given in 
the usual strain. Saiva legends ensue: as the destruc- 
tion of Tripurasura; the war of the gods with Taraka 
and the Daityas, and the consequent birth of Kartti- 
keya, with the various circumstances of Uma's birth 
and marriage, the burning of Kamadeva, and other 
events involved in that narrative; the destruction of 
the Asuras Maya and Andhaka; the origin of the Matris, 
and the like; interspersed with the Vaishnava legends 
of the Avataras. Some Mahatmyas are also introduced; 
one of which, the Narmada Mahatmya, contains some 
interesting particulars. There are various chapters on 
law and morals, and one which furnishes directions 
for building houses and making images. We then have 
an account of the kings of future periods; and the 
Purana concludes with a chapter on gifts. 

'^ f^^% 1^^?^ V^T %^ ^Trf^fT^l I 


The Matsya Puraiia, it will be seen, even from this 
brief sketch of its contents, is a miscellaneous compi- 
lation, but including, in its contents, the elements of a 
genuine Puraha. At the same time, it is of too mixed 
a character to be considered as a genuine work of the 
Paurahik class; and, upon examining it carefully, it 
may be suspected that it is indebted to various works, 
not only for its matter, but for its words. The genea- 
logical and historical chapters are much the same as 
those of the Vishnu; and many chapters, as those on 
the Pitfis and Sraddhas, are precisely the same as those 
of theSrishtiKhanda ofthePadmaPurana. It has drawn 
largely also from the Mahabharata. Amongst other 
instances, it is sufficient to quote the story of Savitri, 
the devoted wife of Satyavat, which is given in the 
Mats^'^a in the same manner, but considerably abridged. 

Although a Saiva work, it is not exclusively so; and 
it has not such sectarial absurdities as the Kurma and 
Linga. It is a composition of considerable interest; 
but, if it has extracted its materials from the Padma, — 
which it also quotes on one occasion, the specification 
of the Upapurahas, — it is subsequent to that work, and, 
therefore, not very ancient, 

17. Garuda Purai'ia. "That which Vishnu recited 
in the Garuda Kalpa, relating, chiefly, to the birth of 
Garuda from Vinata, is here called the Garuda Purana; 
and in it there are read nineteen thousand verses."^ 

t%^ 1 1!^ I S^ ^^^W secius to be the more ordinary reiuling. 


The Garuda Piu-ana which has been the subject of 
my examination corresponds in no respect ^yith this 
description, and is, probably, a different work, though 
entitled the Garuda Purtina. It is identical, however, 
with two copies in the Company's library. It consists 
of no more than about seven thousand stanzas; it is 
repeated by Brahma to Indra; and it contains no ac- 
count of the birth of Garuda. There is a brief notice 
of the creation; but the greater part is occupied with 
the description of Vratas or religious observances, of 
holydays, of sacred places dedicated to the sun, and 
with prayers from the Tantrika ritual, addressed to 
the sun, to Siva, and to Vishnu. It contains, also, trea- 
tises on astrology, palmistry, and precious stones, and 
one, still more extensive, on medicine. The latter por- 
tion, called the Preta Kalpa, is taken up with directions 
for the performance of obsequial rites. There is nothing, 
in all this, to justify the application of the name. Wlie- 
ther a genuine Garuda Puraiia exists is doubtful. The 
description given in the Matsya is less particular than 
even the brief notices of the other Puninas, and might 
have easily been written without any knowledge of 
the book itself; being, with exception of the number of 
stanzas, confined to circumstances that the title alone 

18. Brahmanda Puraha. * "That which has declared, 
in twelve thousand two hundred verses, the magnifi- 
cence of the egg of Brahma, and in which an account 

* A very popular work -which is considered to be a part of the Brah- 
mdi'iila-purd/ia, is the Adhy alma -rdmdy ana. It has been lithographed, 
■with the commentary of Nagesa Bhat't'a , at Bombay. For some account 
of it, see Prof. Aufrecht's Catalog. Cod. Manuscript. &c., pp. 28 and 29. 


of the future Kalpas is contained, is called the Brah- 
mai'ida Punina, and was revealed by Brahma."^* 

The Brahnianda Purana is usually considered to be 
in much the same predicament as the Skanda, no longer 
procurable in a collective body, but represented by a 
variety of Khan das and Mahatmyas, professing to be 
derived from it. The facility with which any tract 
may be thus attached to the non-existent original, and 
the advantage that has been taken of its absence to 
compile a variety of unauthentic fragments, have given 
to the Brahmanda, Skanda, and Padma, according to 
Colonel Wilford, the character of being "the Puraiias 
of thieves or impostors."^ This is not applicable to 
the Padma, which, as above shown, occurs entire and 
the same in various parts of India. The imposition of 
which the other two are made the vehicles can deceive 
no one; as the purpose of the particular legend is 
always too obvious to leave any doubt of its origin. 

Copies of what profess to be the entire Brahmanda 
Purana are sometimes, though rarely, procurable. I 
met with one in two portions, the former containing 
one hundred and twenty-four chapters, the latter, 
seventy -eight; and the whole containing about the 
number of stanzas assigned to the Purana. The first 

2 As. Res., Vol. VIII., p. 252. 

* ? 

t The four I. 0. L. MSS, of the Matsya have ^^o , not ^^. 


and largest portion, however, proved to be the same 
as the Vayu Parana, with a passage occasionally 
slightly varied, and at the end of each chapter the 
common phrase 'Iti Brahmahda Purane' substituted 
for 'Iti Vayu Purane'. I do not think there was any 
intended fraud in the substitution. The last section 
of the first part of the Vayu Purju'ia is termed the 
Brahmahda section, giving an account of the dissolution 
of the universe: and a careless or ignorant transcriber 
might have taken Ihis for the title of the whole. The 
checks to the identity of the work have been honestly 
preserved, both in the index and the frequent specifi- 
cation of Vayu as the teacher or narrator of it. 

The second portion of this Brahmahda is not any 
part of the Vayu : it is, probably, current in the Dakhin 
as a Samhita or Khahda. Agastya is represented as 
going to the city Kanchi (Conjeveram), where Vishnu, 
as Hayagriva, appears to him, and, in answer to his 
inquiries, imparts to him the means of salvation, the 
worship ofParasakti. In illustration of the efficacy of 
this form of adoration, the main subject of the work 
is an account of the exploits of Lalita Devi, a form of 
Durga, and her destruction of the demon Bhahdasura. 
Rules for her worship are also given, which are de- 
cidedly of a Sakta or Tantrika description; and this 
work cannot be admitted, therefore, to be part of a 
genuine Pur ah a. 

The Upapurahas, in the few instances which are 
known, differ little, in extent or subject, from some of 
those to which the title of Puraha is ascribed. The 
Matsya enumerates but four; but the Devi Bhagavata 
has a more complete list, and specifies eighteen. They 


are: 1. The Sanatkumara, 2. Narasimha,''' 3. Naracliya, 
4. Siva, 5. Durvasasa, 6. Kapila, 7. Manava, 8. Ausa- 
nasa, 9. Varuna, 10. Kalika, 11. Samba, 12. Nandi, 
13. Saura, 14. Parasara, 15. Aditya, 16. Maheswara, 
17. Bhagavata, 18. Vasishtha. The Matsya observes, 
of the second, that it is named in the Padma Parana, f 
and contains eighteen thousand verses. The Nandi it 
calls Nanda, and says, that Karttikeya tells, in it, the 
story of Nanda. I A rather different list is given in the 
Reva Khahda; or: 1. Sanatkumara, 2. Narasimha, 
3. Nanda, 4. Sivadharma, 5. Daurvasasa, 6. Bhavishya, 
related by Narada or Naradiya, 7. Kapila, 8. Manava, 
9. Ausanasa, 10. Brahmanda, 11. Varuna, 12. Kalika, 
13. Maheswara, 14. Samba, 15. Saura, 16. Parasara, 
17. Bhagavata, 18. Kaurma. These authorities, how- 
ever, are of questionable weight; having in view, no 
doubt, the pretensions of the Devi Bhagavata to be 
considered as the authentic Bhagavata. 

Of these Upapurahas few are to be procured. Those 
in my possession are the Siva, considered as distinct 
from the Vayu, the Kalika, and, perhaps, one of the 
Naradiyas, as noticed above. I have, also, three of the 

* For an account of the Narasiihha-purdna, see Prof. Aufrecht's Catalog. 
Cod. Manuscript., &c., pp. 82 aiul 83. 
\ In the Revd-mdhutmya, it is thus spoken of: 

Three of the I, 0. L. copies of the ]\Iatsi/a-purd/ki mention, besides 
the Narasimha and the Nanda, the Sdmba and the Aditya; while one 
copy omits the Sdmba. It seems that the Oxford MS. omits the Aditya. 
See Prof. Aufrecht's Catalog. Cod, Manuscript., &c,, p. 40. 


Skandhas of the Devi Bhagavata., which, most undoub- 
tedly, is not the real Bhagavata, supposing that any 
Parana so named preceded the work of Bopadeva. 
There can be no doubt that in any authentic list the 
name of Bhagavata does not occur amongst the Upa- 
puranas : it has been put there to prove that there are 
two works so entitled, of which the Parana is the Devi 
Bhagavata, the Upapurana, the Sri Bhagavata. The 
true reading should be Bhargava,* the Purana of 
Bhrigu: and the Devi Bhagavata is not even an Upa- 
purana. It is very questionable if the entire work, 
which, as far as it extends, is eminently a Sakta com- 
position, ever had existence, f 

The Siva Upapurana contains about six thousand 
stanzas, distributed into two parts. It is related by 
Sanatkumara to Vyasa and theRishis atNaimisharanya; 
and its character may be judged of from the questions 
to which it is a reply. "Teach us", said the Rishis, 
"the rules of worshipping the Linga, and of the god 
of gods adored under that type : describe to us his 
various forms, the places sanctified by him, and the 
prayers with which he is to be addressed." In answer, 
Sanatkumara repeats the Siva Purana , containing the 
birth of Vishnu and Brahma; the creation and divisions 
of the universe; the origin of all things from the Linga; 
the rules of worshipping it and Siva; the sanctity of 

* This suggestion is offered by the anonymous author of the Durjana- 
mukha-padma-pddukd. See Burnouf s Bhdgavata-purdi'ia, Vol. I., Preface, 

t The editor saw, at Benares, about twelve years ago, a manuscript 
of the Devi-bhdgavata, containing some 18,000 lilok-as. Its owner, a learned 
Brahman, maintained that his copy was complete. To collect its various 
parts, he had travelled during many years, and over a large part of India. 


times, places, and things, dedicated to him; the dehision 
of Brahma and Vishnu by the Linga; the rewards of 
offering flowers and the hke to aLinga; rales for various 
observances in honour of Mahadeva; the mode of prac- 
tising the Yoga; the glory of Benares and other Saiva 
Tirthas; and the perfection of the objects of life by 
union with Maheswara. These subjects are illustrated, 
in the first part, with very few legends; but the second 
is made up, almost wholly, of Saiva stories, as the 
defeat of Tripurasura; the sacrifice of Daksha; the 
births of Karttikeya and Gahesa, (the sons of Siva), and 
Nandi and Bhringariti (his attendants), and others; 
together with descriptions of Benares and other places 
of pilgrimage, and rules for observing such festivals 
as the Sivaratri. This work is a Saiva manual, not a 

The Kalika Purana contains about nine thousand 
stanzas, in ninety-eight chapters, and is the only work 
of the series dedicated to recommend the worship of 
the bride of Siva, in one or other of her manifold forms, 
as Girija, Devi, Bhadrakali, Kal],Mahamaya. It belongs, 
therefore, to the Sakta modification of Hindu belief, 
or the worship of the female powers of the deities. 
The influence of this worship shows itself in the very 
first pages of the work, which relate the incestuous 
passion of Brahma for his daughter Sandhya, in a strain 
that has nothing analogous to it in the Vayu, Linga, 
or Siva Purahas. 

The marriage of Siva and Parvati is a subject early 
described, with the sacrifice of Daksha, and the death 
of Sati. And this work is authority for Siva's carrying 
the dead body about the world, and the origin of the 


Pitliasthanas or places where the different members 
of it were scattered, and where Lingas were, conse- 
quently, erected. A legend follows of the births of 
Bhairava and Vetala, whose devotion to different forms 
of Devi furnishes occasion to describe, in great detail, 
the rites and formulae of which her worship consists, 
including the chapters on sanguinary sacrifices, trans- 
lated in the Asiatic Researches. * Another peculiarity 
in this work is afforded by very prolix descriptions of 
a number of rivers and mountains at Kamarupa Tirtha, 
in Assam, and rendered holy ground by the celebrated 
temple of Durga in that country, as Kamakshi or Ka- 
makshya. It is a singular, and yet uninvestigated, cir- 
cumstance, that Assam, or, at least, the north-east of 
Bengal, seems to have been, in a great degree, the 
source from which the Tantrika and Sakta corruptions 
of the religion of the Vedas and Puranas proceeded. 
The specification of the Upapuranas, whilst it names 
several of which the existence is problematical, omits 
other works bearing the same designation, which are 
sometimes met with. Thus, in the collection of Colonel 
Mackenzie,^ we have a portion of the Bhargava, and a 
Mudgala Purana, which is, probably, the same with 
the Ganesa Upapurana, cited by Colonel Vans Kennedy. ^ 
I have, also, a copy of the Ganesa Purana, f which 

' Mackenzie Collection, Vol. I., pp. 50, 51. 
^ Researches into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient and Hindu 
Mythology, p. 251. 

* Vol. v., pp. 371, et seq. 

f For Dr. J. SteTenson's "Analysis of the Ganesa Purana, vfith special 
reference to the History of Buddhism", see Journal of the Royal Asiatic 
Society, Vol. VIII., pp. 319-329. 


seems to agree with that of which he speaks; the second 
portion being entitled the Krida Khahda, in which the 
pastimes of Gai'iesa, inchiding a variety of legendary 
matters, are described. The main subject of the work 
is the greatness of Ganesa; and prayers and formulae 
appropriate to him are abundantly detailed. It appears 
to be a work originating with the Gaiiapatya sect, or 
worshippers of Ganesa. There is, also, a minor Puraha 
called Adi or 'first', not included in the list. This is a 
work, however, of no great extent or importance, and 
is confined to a detail of the sports of the juvenile 

From the sketch thus offered of the subjects of the 
Purahas, and which, although admitting of correction, 
is believed to be, in the main, a candid and accurate 
summary, it will be evident, that, in their present con- 
dition, they mustbe received with caution, as authorities 
for the mythological religion of the Hindus at any 
remote period. They preserve, no doubt, many ancient 
notions and traditions; but these have been so much 
mixed up with foreign matter, intended to favour the 
popularity of particular forms of worship, or articles 
of faith, that they cannot be unreservedly recognized 
as genuine representations of what we have reason to 
believe the Puranas originally were. 

The safest sources, for the ancient legends of the 
Hindus, after the Vedas, are, no doubt, the two great 
poems, the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The first 
offers only a few; but they are of a primitive character. 
The Mahabharata is more fertile in fiction; but it is 
more miscellaneous; and much that it contains is of 
equivocal authenticity and uncertain date. Still, it 


affords iiiaiiy inaterials that are genuine; and it is, 
evidently, the great fountain from which most, if not 
all, of the Puranas have drawn; as it intimates, itself, 
when it declares, that there is no legend current in the 
world which has not its origin in the Mahabharata. ^ 

A work of some extent, professing to be part of the 
Mahabharata, may, more accurately, be ranked with the 
Pauranik compilations of least authenticity and latest 
origin. The Hari Vaiiisa is chiefly occupied with the 
adventures of Krishna; but, as introductory to his era, 
it records particulars of the creation of the world, and 
of the patriarchal and regal dynasties. This is done 
with much carelessness and inaccuracy of compilation; 
as I have had occasion, frequently, to notice, in the 
following pages. The work has been very industriously 
translated by M. Langlois. 

A comparison of the subjects of the following pages 
with those of the other Puranas will sufficiently show, 
that, of the whole series, the Vishnu most closely con- 
forms to the definition of a Pancha-lakshana Purana, 
or one which treats of five specified topics. It com- 
prehends them all; and, although it has infused a por- 
tion of extraneous and sectarial matter, it has done so 
with sobriety and with judgment, and has not suffered 
the fervour of its religious zeal to transport it into 
very wide deviations from the prescribed path. The 
legendary tales which it has inserted are few, and are 
conveniently arranged, so that they do not distract the 

'Unconnected with this narrative, no story is known upon 
earth.' Adi-parcan, 307. 


attention of the compiler from objects of more per- 
manent interest and importance. 

The first book of the six, into which the work is 
divided, is occupied chiefly with the details of creation, 
primary (Sarga) and secondary (Pratisarga) ; the first 
explaining how the universe proceeds from Prakfiti 
or eternal crude matter; the second, in what manner 
the forms of things are developed from the elementary 
substances previously evolved, or how they reappear 
after their temporary destruction. Both these creations 
are periodical; but the termination of the first occurs 
only at the end of the life of Brahma, when not only 
all the gods and all other forms are annihilated, but 
the elements are again merged into primary substance, 
besides which, one only spiritual being exists. The 
latter takes place at the end of every Kalpa or day of 
Brahma, and affects only the forms of inferior creatures, 
and lower worlds; leaving the substance of the universe 
entire, and sages and gods unharmed. The explanation 
of these events involves a description of the periods 
of time upon which they depend, and which are, ac- 
cordingly, detailed. Their character has been a source 
of very unnecessary perplexity to European writers; 
as they belong to a scheme of chronology wholly my- 
thological, having no reference to any real or supposed 
history of the Hindus, but applicable, according to their 
system, to the infinite and eternal revolutions of the 
universe. In these notions, and in that of the coeternity 
of spirit and matter, the theogony and cosmogony of 
the Purahas, as they appear in the Vishnu Puriiha, 
belong to and illustrate systems of high antiquity, of 


which we have only fragmentary traces in the records 
of other nations. 

The course of the elemental creation is, in the Vishnu, 
as in other Puranas, taken from the Stinkhya philoso- 
phy; but the agency that operates upon passive matter 
is confusedly exhibited, in consequence of a partial 
adoption of the illusory theory of the Vedanta philo- 
sophy, and the prevalence of the Pauraiiik doctrine of 
pantheism. However incompatible with the indepen- 
dent existence ofPradhana or crude matter, and how- 
ever incongruous with the separate condition of pure 
spirit orPurusha, it is declared, repeatedly, that Vishnu, 
as one with the supreme being, is not only spirit, but 
crude matter, and not only the latter, but all visible 
substance, and Time. He is Purusha, 'spirit'; Prad- 
hana, 'crude matter'; Vyakta, 'visible form'; and Kala, 
'time'. This cannot but be regarded as a departure 
from the primitive dogmas of the Hindus, in which 
the distinctness of the Deity and his works was enun- 
ciated; in which, upon his willing the world to be, it 
was; and in which his interposition in creation, held 
to be inconsistent with the quiescence of perfection, 
was explained away by the personification of attributes 
in action, which afterwards came to be considered as 
real divinities, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, charged, 
severally, for a given season, with the creation, pre- 
servation, and temporary annihilation of materialforms. 
These divinities are, in the following pages, consistently 
with the tendency of a Vaishhava work, declared to 
be no other than Vishnu. In Saiva Puranas, they are, 
in like manner, identified with Siva; the Puranas thus 
displaying and explaining the seeming incompatibility, 


of which there are traces in other ancient mythologies, 
between three distinct hypostases of one superior deity, 
and the identification of one or other of those hypos- 
tases with their common and separate originaL 

After the world has been fitted for the reception of 
living creatures, it is peopled by the will-engendered 
sons of Brahma, the Prajapatis or patriarchs, and their 
posterity. It would seem as if a primitive tradition of 
the descent of mankind from seven holy personages 
had at first prevailed, but that, in the course of time, 
it had been expanded into complicated, and not always 
consistent, amplification. How could these Rishis or 
patriarchs have posterity? It was necessary to pro- 
vide them with wives. In order to account for their 
existence, the Manu Swayanibhuva and his wife Sata- 
rupa were added to the scheme; or Brahma becomes 
twofold, male and female; and daughters are then be- 
gotten, who are married to the Prajapatis. Upon this 
basis various legends of Brahma's double nature, some, 
no doubt, as old as the Vedas, have been constructed. 
But, although they may have been derived, in some 
degree, from the authentic tradition of the origin of 
mankind from a single pair, yet the circumstances in- 
tended to give more interest and precision to the story 
are, evidently, of an allegorical or mystical description, 
and conduced, in apparently later times, to a coarseness 
of realization which was neither the letter nor spirit 
of the original legend. Swayanibhuva, the son of the 
self- born or uncreated, and his wife Satarupa, the 
hundred-formed or multiform, are, themselves, alle- 
gories; and their female descendants, who become the 
wives of the Rishis, are Faith, Devotion, Content, In- 


telligence, Tradition, and the like; whilst, amongst their 
posterity, we have the different phases of the moon 
and the sacrificial fires. . In another creation, the chief 
source of creatures is the patriarch Daksha (ability), 
whose daughters — Virtues, or Passions, or Astronomi- 
cal Phenomena — are the mothers of all existing things. 
These legends, perplexed as they appear to be, seem 
to admit of allowable solution, in the conjecture that 
the Prajapatis and Rishis were real personages, the 
authors of the Hindu system of social, moral, and 
religious obligations, and the first observers of the 
heavens, and teachers of astronomical science. 

The regal personages of the Swayambhuva Manwan- 
tara are but few; but they are described, in the outset, 
as governing the earth in the dawn of society, and as 
introducing agriculture and civilization. How much 
of their story rests upon a traditional remembrance of 
their actions, it would be useless to conjecture; although 
there is no extravagance in supposing that the legends 
relate to a period prior to the full establishment, in 
India, of the Brahmanical institutions. The legends of 
Dhruva and Prahlada, which are intermingled with 
these particulars, are, in all probability, ancient; but 
they are amplified, in a strain conformable to the Vaish- 
nava puq^ort of this Puraha, by doctrines and prayers 
asserting the identity of Vishnu with the Supreme. It 
is clear that the stories do not originate with this 
Purana. In that of Prahlada, particularly, as hereafter 
pointed out, circumstances essential to the complete- 
ness of the story are only alluded to, not recounted; 
showing, indisputably, the writer s having availed him- 
self of some prior authority for his narration. 


The second book opens with a contmuation of the 
kings of the first Manwantara; amongst whom, Bharata 
is said to have given a name to India, called, after him, 
Bharata-varsha. This leads to a detail of the geogra- 
phical system of the Puranas, with mount Mern, the 
seven circular continents, and their surrounding oceans, 
to the limits of the world; all of which are mythologi- 
cal fictions, in which there is little reason to imagine 
that any topographical truths are concealed. With 
regard to Bharata or India, the case is different. The 
mountains and rivers which are named are readily 
verifiable; and the cities and nations that are parti- 
cularized may, also, in many instances, be proved to 
have had a real existence. The list is not a very long 
one, in the Vishnu Purana, and is, probably, abridged 
from some more ample detail, like that which the Ma- 
habharata affords, and which, in the hope of supply- 
ing information with respect to a subject yet imper- 
fectly investigated, the ancient political condition of 
India, I have inserted and elucidated. 

The description which this book also contains of 
the planetary and other spheres, is equally mythologi- 
cal, although occasionally presenting practical details 
and notions in which there is an approach to accuracy. 
The concluding legend of Bharata — in his former life, 
the king so named, but now a Brahman, who acquires 
true wisdom, and thereby attains liberation — is, pal- 
pably, an invention of the compiler, and is peculiar to 
this Purana. 

The arrangement of the Vedas and other writings 
considered sacred by the Hindus, — being, in fact, the 
authorities of their religious rites and belief, — which is 

I. g 


described in the beginning of the third book, is of much 
importance to the history of Hindu literature and of 
the Hindu religion. The sage Vyasa is here repre- 
sented, not as the author, but the arranger or compiler, 
of the Vedas, the Itihasas, and Puranas. His name 
denotes his character, meaning the 'arranger' or 'dis- 
tributor';* and the recurrence of many Vyasas, many 
individuals who new -modelled the Hindu scriptures, 
has nothing, in it, that is improbable, except the fabu- 
lous intervals by which their labours are separated. 
The rearranging, the refashioning, of old materials is 
nothing more than the progress of time would be likely 
to render necessary. The last recognized compilation 
is that of Krishna Dwaipayana, assisted by Brahmans 
who were already conversant with the subjects respec- 
tively assigned to them. They were the members of 
a college, or school, supposed, by the Hindus, to have 
flourished in a period more remote, no doubt, than 
the truth, but not at all unlikely to have been instituted 
at some time prior to the accounts of India which we 
owe to Greek writers, and in which we see enough of 
the system to justify our inferring that it was then 
entire. That there have been other Vyasas and other 
schools since that date, that Brahmans unknown to 

* Mahdbhdrata , Adi-parvan, 2417: 

"Inasmuch as he arranged the mass of the Vedas, he is styled Vyasa." 
Again, ibid., Adi-parvan, 4236 : 

These two passages are referred to in Lassen's Indische Alterthums- 
kunde, Vol. I., p. 629, note 2. 

See, further. Original Sanskrit Texts, Part II., p. 177, and Part. III., 
pp. 20, et sey., and p. 190. 


fame have remodelled some of the Hindu scriptures, 
and, especially, the Puranas, cannot reasonably be con- 
tested, after dispassionately weighing the strong inter- 
nal evidence, which all of them afford, of the intermix- 
ture of unauthorized and comparatively modern ingre- 
dients. But the same internal testimony furnishes 
proof, equally decisive , of the anterior existence of 
ancient materials; and it is, therefore, as idle as it is 
irrational, to dispute the antiquity or authenticity of 
the greater portion of the contents of the Puranas, 
in the face of abundant positive and circumstantial 
evidence of the prevalence of the doctrines which they 
teach, the currency of the legends which they narrate, 
and the integrity of the institutions which they describe, 
at least three centuries before the Christian era. But 
the origin and development of their doctrines, tradi- 
tions, and institutions were* not the work of a day; 
and the testimony that establishes their existence three 
centuries before Christianity, carries it back to a much 
more remote antiquity, to an antiquity that is, probably, 
not surpassed by any of the prevailing fictions, insti- 
tutions, or belief, of the ancient world. 

The remainder of the third book describes the lead- 
ing institutions of the Hindus, the duties of castes, the 
obligations of different stages of life, and the celebra- 
tion of obsequial rites, in a short but primitive strain, 
and in harmony with the laws of Manu. It is a dis- 
tinguishing feature of the Vishnu Puraha, and it is 
characteristic of its being the work of an earlier period 
than most of the Puranas, that it enjoins no sectarial 
or other acts of supererogation; no Vratas, occasional 
self-imposed observances; no holydays, no birthdays 


of Kd'ishi'ia, no nights dedicated to Lakslimi; no sacri- 
fices or modes of worship other than those conformable 
to tl\Q ritual of the Vedas. It contains no Mahatmyas 
or golden legends, even of the temples in which Vishnu 
is adored. 

The fourth book contains all that the Hindus have 
of their ancient history. It is a tolerably comprehensive 
list of dynasties and individuals: it is a barren record 
of events. It can scarcely be doubted, however, that 
much of it is a genuine chronicle of persons, if not of 
occurences. That it is discredited by palpable absurd- 
ities in regard to the longevity of the princes of the 
earlier dynasties, must be granted; and the particulars 
preserved of some of them are trivial and fabulous. 
Still, there is an inartificial simplicity and consistency 
in the succession of persons, and a possibility and j^ro- 
bability in some of the -transactions , which give to 
these traditions the semblance of authenticity, and 
render it likely, that they are not altogether without 
foundation. At any rate, in the absence of all other 
sources of information , the record, such as it is, de- 
serves not to be altogether set aside. It is not essential 
to its credibility, or its usefulness, that any exact chro- 
nological adjustment of the different reigns should be 
attempted. Their distribution amongst the several 
Yugas, undertaken by Sir William Jones, or his Pan- 
dits, finds no countenance from the origmal texts, 
further than an incidental notice of the age in which 
a particular monarch ruled, or the general fact that 
the dynasties prior to Krishna precede the time of the 
Great War and the beginning of the Kali age; both 
which events we are not obliged, with the Hindus, to 


place five thousand years ago. To that age the solar 
dynasty of princes offers ninety -three descents, the 
lunar, but forty-five; though they both commence at 
the same time. Some names may have been added 
to the former list, some omitted in the latter; and it 
seems most likely, that, notwithstanding their syn- 
chronous beginning, the princes of the lunar race 
were subsequent to those of the solar dynasty. They 
avowedly branched off from the solar line; and the 
legend of Sudyumna,^ that explains the connexion, has 
every appearance of having been contrived for the 
purpose of referring it to a period more remote than 
the truth. Deducting, however, from the larger number 
of princes a considerable proportion, there is nothing 
to shock probability in supposing, that the Hindu dy- 
nasties and their ramifications were spread through 
an interval of about twelve centuries anterior to the 
war of the Mahabharata, and, conjecturing that event 
to have happened about fourteen centuries before 
Christianity, thus carrying the commencement of the 
regal dynasties of India to about two thousand six 
hundred years before that date. This may, or may 
not, be too remote;^ but it is sufficient, in a subject 

' Book IV., Chapter I. 

^ HoAA^ever incompatible with the ordinary computation of the 
period that is supposed to have elapsed between the flood and 
the birth of Christ , this falls sufficiently within the larger limits 
which are now assigned, upon the best authorities, to that period. 
As observed by Mr. Milman, in his note on the annotation of 
Gibbon (II., 301), which refers to this subject: "Most of the more 
learned modern English protestants, as Dr. Hales, Mr. Faber, 
Dr. Russell, as well as the continental writers, adopt the larger 


where precision is impossible, to be satisfied with the 
general impression , that, in the dynasties of kings de- 
tailed in the Puranas, we have a record which, although 
it cannot fail to have suffered detriment from age, and 
may have been injured by careless or injudicious com- 
pilation, preserves an account, not wholly undeserving 
of confidence, of the establishment and succession of 
regular monarchies, amongst the Hindus, from as early 
an era, and for as continuous a duration, as any in the 
credible annals of mankind. 

The circumstances that are told of the first princes 
have evident relation to the colonization of India, and 
the gradual extension of the authority of new races 
over an uninhabited or uncivilized region. It is com- 
monly admitted, that the Brahmanical religion and ci- 
vilization were brought into India from without.^ 'Cer- 
tainly, there are tribes on the borders, and in the heart 
of the country, who are still not Hindus; and passages 
in the Ramayana, and Mahabharata, and Manu, and 
the uniform traditions of the people themselves, point 
to a period when Bengal, Orissa, and the whole of the 
Dakhin were inhabited by degraded or outcaste, that 
is, by barbarous, tribes. The traditions of the Puranas 

chronology." To these may be added the opinion of Dr. Mill, 
who, for reasons which he has fully detailed, identifies the com- 
mencement of the Kali age of the Hindus, B. C. 3102, with the 
era of the deluge. Christa Sangita, Introd., supplementary note. 
' Sir William Jones on the Hindus (As. Res., Vol. HI.); 
Klaproth, Asia Polyglotta; Colonel Vans Kennedy, Researches 
into the Origin and Affinity of the Principal Languages of Asia 
and Europe; A. von Schlegel, Origines des Hindous (Transactions 
of the Royal Society of Literature). 


confirm these views: but they lend no assistance to 
the determination of the question whence the Hindus 
came; whether from a central Asiatic nation, as Sir 
William Jones supposed, or from the Caucasian moun- 
tains, the plains of Babylonia, or the borders of the 
Caspian, as conjectured by Klaproth, Vans Kennedy, 
and Schlegel. The affinities of the Sanskrit language 
prove a common origin of the now widely scattered 
nations amongst whose dialects they are traceable, and 
render it unquestionable that they must all have spread 
abroad from some centrical spot in that part of the 
globe first inhabited by mankind, according to the 
inspired record. Whether any indication of such an 
event be discoverable in the Vedas, remains to be de- 
termined; but it would have been obviously incompat- 
ible with the Pauranik system to have referred the 
origin of Indian princes and principalities to other than 
native sources. We need not, therefore, expect, from 
them, any information as to the foreign derivation of 
the Hindus. 

We have, then, wholly insufficient means for arriving 
at any information concerning the ante-Indian period 
of Hindu history, beyond the general conclusion deri- 
vable from the actual presence of barbarous and, appa- 
rently, aboriginal tribes— from the admitted progressive 
extension of Hinduism into parts of India where it did 
not prevail when the code of Manu was compiled— from 
the general use of dialects in India, more or less copious, 
which are different from Sanskrit — and from the affi- 
nities of that language with forms of speech current 
in the western world — that a people who spoke San- 
skrit, and followed the religion of the Vedas, came into 


India, in some very distant age, from lands west of the 
Indus. Whether the date and circumstances of their 
immigration will ever be ascertained, is extremely 
doubtful: but it is not difficult to form a plausible out- 
line of their early site and progressive colonization. 

The earliest seat of the Hindus , wdthin the confines 
of Hindusthan, was, undoubtedly, the eastern confines 
of the Punjab. The holy land of Manu and the Puranas 
lies between the Dfishadwati and Saraswati rivers,— the 
Caggar and Sursooty of our barbarous maps. Various 
adventures of the first princes and most famous sages 
occur in this vicinity; and the Asramas or religious 
domiciles of several of the latter are placed on the 
banks of the Saraswati. According to some authorities, 
it was the abode of Vyasa, the compiler* of the Vedas 
and Puranas; and, agreeably to another, when, on one 
occasion, the Vedas had fallen into disuse and been 
forgotten, the Brahmans were again instructed in them 
by Saraswata, the son of Saraswati.^ One of the most 
distinguished of the tribes of the Brahmans is known 
as the Saraswata;^ and the same w^ord is employed, by 
Mr. Colebrooke, to denote that modification of Sanskrit 
which is termed generally Prakrit, and which, in this 
case, he supposes to have been the language of the 
Saraswata nation, "which occupied the banks of the 
river Saraswati."^ The river itself receives its appella- 

^ See Book III., Chapter VI., note ad finem. 
=• As. Res., Vol. v., p. 55. f 
3 Ihid., Vol., VII., p. 219.: 

* See my note in p. XCVIII., supra. 
+ Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. II., p. 179. 
t Ibid., Vol. II., p. 21. 


tion from Saraswatf, the goddess of learning, under 
whose auspices the sacred hterature of the Hindus 
assumed shape and authority. These indications render 
it certain, that, whatever seeds were imported from 
without, it was in the country adjacent to the Saras- 
wati river that they were first planted, and cultivated, 
and reared, in Hindusthan. 

The tract of land thus assigned for the first establish- 
ment of Hinduism in India, is of very circumscribed 
extent, and could not have been the site of any nume- 
rous tribe or nation. The traditions that evidence the 
early settlement of the Hindus in this quarter, ascribe 
to the settlers more of a philosophical and religious, 
than of a secular, character, and combine, with the very 
narrow bounds of the holy land, to render it possible, 
that the earliest emigrants were the members, not of 
a political, so much as of a religious, community; that 
they were a colony of priests, not in the restricted 
sense in which we use the term, but in that in which 
it still applies in India, to an Agrahara, a village or 
hamlet of Brahmans, who, although married, and having 
families, and engaging in tillage, in domestic duties, 
and in the conduct of secular interests aflPecting the 
community, are, still, supposed to. devote their principal 
attention to sacred study and religious offices. A 
society of this description , with its artificers and ser- 
vants, and, perhaps, with a body of martial followers, 
might have found a home in the Brahmavarta of Manu, 
the land which, thence, was entitled 'the holy', or, 
more literally, 'the Brahman, region', and may have 
communicated to the rude, uncivilized, unlettered, 
aborigines the rudiments of social organization, litera- 


tiire, and religion; partly, in all probability, brought 
along with them, and partly devised and fashioned, 
by degrees, for the growing necessities of new con- 
ditions of society. Those with whom this civilization 
commenced would have had ample inducements to 
prosecute their successful work; and, in the course of 
time, the improvement which germinated on the banks 
of the Saraswati was extended beyond the borders of 
the Jumna and the Ganges. 

We have no satisfactory intimation of the stages by 
which the political organization of the people of Upper 
India traversed the space between the Saraswati and 
the more easterly region, where it seems to have taken 
a concentrated form, and whence it diverged, in various 
directions, throughout Hindusthan. The Man u of the 
present period, Vaivaswata, the son of the Sun, is re- 
garded as the founder of Ayodhya; and that city con- 
tinued to be the capital of the most celebrated branch 
of his descendants, the posterity of Ikshwaku. The 
Vishnu Purana evidently intends to describe the radia- 
tion of conquest or colonization from this spot, in the 
accounts it gives of the dispersion of Vaivaswata's 
posterity; and, although it is difficult to understand 
what could have led early settlers in India to such a 
site, it is not inconveniently situated as a commanding 
position whence emigrations might proceed to the 
east, the west, and the south. This seems to have 
happened. A branch from the house of Ikshwaku spread 
into Tirhoot, constituting the Maithila kings; and the 
posterity of another of Vaivaswata's sons reigned at 
Vaisali, in Southern Tirhoot, or Sarun. 


The most adventurous emigrations, however, took 
place through the huiar dynasty, which, as observed 
above, originates from the solar; making, in fact, but 
one race and source for the whole. Leaving out of 
consideration the legend of Sudyumna's double trans- 
formation, the first prince of Pratishthana, a city south 
from Ayodhya, was one of Vaivaswata's children, 
equally with Ikshwaku. The sons of Pururavas, the 
second of this branch, extended, by themselves, or 
their posterity, in every direction : to the east, to Kasi, 
Magadha, Benares, and Behar; southwards, to the 
Vindhya hills, and, across them, to Vidarbha orBerar; 
westwards, along the Narmada, to Kusasthali or Dwa- 
raka in Gujerat; and, in a north-westerly direction, to 
Mathura and Hastinapura. These movements are very 
distinctly discoverable amidst the circumstances nar- 
rated in the fourth book of the Vishnu Purana, and 
are precisely such as might be expected from a radia- 
tion of colonies from Ayodhya. Intimations also occur 
of settlements in Banga, Kalinga, and the Dakhin: but 
they are brief and indistinct, and have the appearance 
of additions subsequent to the comprehension of those 
countries within the pale of Hinduism. 

Besides these traces of migration and settlement, 
several curious circumstances, not likely to be unautho- 
rized inventions, are hinted in these historical tradi- 
tions. The distinction of castes was not fully developed 
prior to the colonization. Of the sons of Vaivaswata, 
some, as kings, were Kshatriyas; but one founded a 
tribe of Brahmans, another became a Vaisya, and a 
fourth, a Siidra. It is also said, of other princes, that 
they established the four castes amongst their sub- 


jects.^ There are, also, various notices of Brahmanical 
Gotras or families, proceeding from Kshatriya races; ^ 
and there are several indications of severe struggles 
between the two ruling castes, not for temporal, but 
for spiritual, dominion, the right to teach the Vedas. 
This seems to be the especial purport of the inveterate 
hostility that prevailed between the Brahman Vasishth a 
and the Kshatriya Viswamitra, who, as the Ramayana 
relates, compelled the gods to make him a Brahman 
also, and whose posterity became very celebrated as 
the Kausika Brahmans. Other legends, again, such as 
Daksha's sacrifice, denote sectarial strife; and the 
legend of Paras urama reveals a conflict even for tem- 
poral authority, between the two ruling castes. More 
or less weight will be attached to these conjectures, 
according to the temperament of different inquirers. 
But, even whilst fully aware of the facility with which 
plausible deductions may cheat the fancy, and little 
disposed to relax all curb upon the imagination, I find 
it difficult to regard these legends as wholly unsub- 
stantial fictions, or devoid of all resemblance to the 
realities of the past. 

After the date of the great war, the Vishnu Purana, 
in common with those Puranas which contain similar 
lists, specifies kings and dynasties with greater pre- 
cision, and offers political and chronological particulars 
to which, on the score of probability, there is nothing 
to object. In truth, their general accuracy has been 
incontrovertibly established. Inscriptions on columns 

' See Book IV., Chapters VIII. and XVIIL, &c. 
2 See Book IV., Chapter XIX. 


of stone, on rocks, on coins, deciphered only of late 
years, through the extraordinary ingenuity and per- 
severance of Mr. James Prinsep, have verified the 
names of races and titles of princes — the Gupta and 
Andhra Rajas, mentioned in the Puranas — and have 
placed beyond dispute the identity of Chandragupta 
and Sandrocoptus; thus giving us a fixed point from 
which to compute the date of other persons and events. 
Thus, the Vishnu Purana specifies the interval between 
Chandragupta and the Great War to be eleven hundred 
years; and the occurence of the latter little more than 
fourteen centuries B. C, as shown in my observations 
on the passage,^ remarkably concurs with inferences 
of the like date from different premises. The historical 
notices that then follow are considerably confused; 
but they probably afford an accurate picture of the 
political distractions of India at the time when they 
were written: and much of the perplexity arises from 
the corrupt state of the manuscripts, the obscure brev- 
ity of the record, and our total want of the means of 
collateral illustration. 

The fifth book of the Vishnu Purana is exclusively 
occupied with the life of Krishna. This is one of the 
distinguishing characteristics of the Purana, and is one 
argument against its antiquity. It is possible, though 
not yet proved, that Krishna, as an Avatara of Vishnu, 
is mentioned in an indisputably genuine text of the 
Vedas. He is conspicuously prominent in the Maha- 
bharata, but very contradictorily described there. The 
part that he usually performs is that of a mere mortal ; 

' See Book IV., Chapter XXIV. 


although the passages are numerous that attach divinity 
to his person. There are, however, no descriptions, in 
the Mahabharata, of his juvenile frolics, of his sports 
in Vrindavana, his pastimes with the cow-boys, or even 
his destruction of the Asuras sent to kill him. These 
stories have, all, a modern complexion; they do not 
harmonize with the tone of the ancient legends, which 
is, generally, grave, and, sometimes, majestic. They are 
the creations of a puerile taste and grovelling imagina- 
tion. These chapters of the Vishnu Purana offer some 
difficulties as to their originality. They are the same 
as those on the same subject in the Brahma Purana: 
they are not very dissimilar to those of the Bhagavata. 
The latter has some incidents which the Vishnu has 
not, and may, therefore, be thought to have improved 
upon the prior narrative of the latter. On the other 
hand, abridgment is equally a proof of posteriority as 
amplification. The simpler style of the Vishnu Purana 
is, however, in favour of its priority; and the miscel- 
laneous composition of the Brahma Purana rendei's it 
likely to have borrowed these chapters from the Vishnu. 
The life of Krishna in the Hari Vaiiisa and the Brahma 
Vaivarta are, indisputably, of later date. 

The last book contains an account of the dissolution 
of the world, in both its major and minor cataclysms; 
and, in the particulars of the end of all things by fire 
and water, as well as in the principle of their perpetual 
renovation, presents a faithful exhibition of opinions 
that were general in the ancient world. ^ The meta- 

" Dr. Thomas Burnet has collected the opinions of the ancient 
world on this subject, tracing them, as he says, "to the earliest 


physical annihilation of the universe, by the release of 
the spirit from bodily existence, offers, as already re- 
marked, other analogies to doctrines and practices 
taught by Pythagoras and Plato, and by the Platonic 
Christians of later days. 

The Vishnu Purana has kept very clear of particu- 
lars from which an approximation to its date may be 
conjectured. No place is described of which the sacred- 
ness has any known limit, nor any work cited of pro- 
bable recent composition. The Vedas, the Puranas, 
other works forming the body of Sanskrit literature, 
are named; and so is the Mahabharata, to which, there- 
fore, it is subsequent. Both Bauddhas and Jainas are 
adverted to. It was, therefore, written before the 
former had disappeared. But they existed, in some 
parts of India, as late as the twelfth century, at least; 
and it is probable that the Purana was compiled before 
that period. The Gupta kings reigned in the seventh 
century.* The historical record of the Purana which 
mentions them was, therefore, later: and there seems 
little doubt that the same alludes to the first incursions 
of the Mohammedans, which took place in the eighth 
century; which brings it still lower. In describing the 
latter dynasties, some, if not all, of which were, no 
doubt, contemporary, they are described as reigning, 

people, and the first appearances of wisdom after the Flood." 
Sacred Theory of the Earth, Book III., Chapter III. The Hindu 
account explains what is imperfect or contradictory in ancient 
tradition, as handed down from other and less carefully per- 
petuated sources. 

* More recent researches have rendered this conclusion doubtful. 


altogether, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six 
years. Why this duration should have been chosen 
does not appear; unless, in conjunction with the number 
of years which are said to have elapsed between the 
Great War and the last of the Andhra dynasty, which 
preceded these different races, and which amounted 
to two thousand three hundred and fifty, the compiler 
was influenced by the actual date at which he wrote. 
The aggregate of the two periods would be the Kali 
year 4146, equivalent to A. D. 1045. There are some 
variety and indistinctness in the enumeration of the 
periods which compose this total: but the date which 
results from it is not unlikely to be an approximation 
to that of the Vishnu Purana. 

It is the boast of inductive philosophy, that it draws 
its conclusions from the careful observation and accu- 
mulation of facts; and it is, equally, the business of all 
philosophical research to determine its facts before it 
ventures upon speculation. This procedure has not 
been observed in the investigation of the mythology 
and traditions of the Hindus. Impatience to generalize 
has availed itself greedily of whatever promised to 
afford materials for generalization; and the most er- 
roneous views have been confidently advocated, be- 
cause the guides to which their authors trusted were 
ignorant or insufficient. The information gleaned by 
Sir Wniiam Jones was gathered in an early season of 
Sanskrit studv, before the field was cultivated. The 
same may be said of the writings of Paolino da S. Bar- 
tolomeo,^ with the further disadvantage of his having 

' Systema Bvahniauicuni, &c. 


been imperfectly acquainted with the Sanskrit language 
and literature, and his veiling his deficiencies under 
loftiness of pretension and a prodigal display of mis- 
applied erudition. The documents to which Wilford^ 
trusted proved to be, in great part, fabrications, and, 
where genuine, were mixed up with so much loose and 
unauthenticated matter, and so overwhelmed with 
extravagance of speculation, that his citations need to 
be carefully and skilfully sifted, before they can be 
serviceably employed. The descriptions of Ward^ are 
too deeply tinctured by his prejudices to be implicitly 
confided in; and they are also derived, in a great 
measure, from the oral or written communications of 
Bengali pandits, who are not, in general, very deeply 
read in the authorities of their mythology. The ac- 
counts of Poller^ were, in like manner, collected from 
questionable sources; and his Mythologie des Indous 
presents an heterogeneous mixture of popular andPau- 
rahik tales, of ancient traditions, and legends appa- 
rently invented for the occasion, which renders the 
publication worse than useless, except in the hands of 
those who can distinguish the pure metal from the alloy. 
Such are the authorities to which Maurice, Faber, and 
Creuzer have exclusively trusted, in their description 
of the Hindu mythology; and it is no marvel that there 
should have been an utter confounding of good and 
bad in their selection of materials, and an inextricable 

' Asiatic Researches. 

^ View of the History, Literature, and Religion of the Hindoos, 
with a Description of their Manners and Customs. 

^ Mythologie des Indous, edited by la Chanoinesse de Polier. 
I. h 


mixture of truth and error in their conchisions. Their 
labours, accordingly, are far from entitled to that con- 
fidence which their learning and industry would, else, 
have secured; and a sound and comprehensive survey 
of the Hindu system is still wanting to the comparative 
analysis of the religious opinions of the ancient world, 
and to a satisfactory elucidation of an important chap- 
ter in the history of the hnman race. It is with the 
hope of supplying some of the necessary means for the 
accomplishment of these objects, that the following 
pages have been translated. 

The translation of the Vishnu Purana has been made 
from a collation of various manuscripts in my posses- 
sion. I had three, when I commenced the work; two 
in the Devanagari, and one in the Bengali, character. 
A fonrth, from the west of India, was given to me by 
Major Jervis, when some progress had been made; 
and, in conducting the latter half of the translation 
through the press, I have compared it with three other 
copies in the library of the East India Company. All 
these copies closely agree; presenting no other diffe- 
rences than occasional varieties of reading, owing, 
chiefly, to the inattention or inaccuracy of the trans- 
criber. Four of the copies were accompanied by a 
commentary, essentially the same, although occasion- 
ally varying, and ascribed, in part, at least, to two 
different scholiasts. The annotations on the first two 
books and the fifth are, in two MSS., said to be the 
work of Sridhara Yati, the disciple of Parananda Nri- 
hari, and who is, therefore, the same as Sridhara Swa- 
min, the connnentator on the Bhagavata. In the other 
three books, these two MSS. concur with other two in 


naming the commentator Ratnagarbha Bhattacharya, 
who, in tliose two, is the author of the notes on the 
entire work. The introductory verses* of his comment 
specify him to be the disciple of Vidyavachaspati, 
the son of Hiranyagarbha, and grandson of Madhava, 
who composed his connnentary by desire of Siiryakara, 
son of Ratinatha Misra, son of Chandrakara, hereditary 
ministers of some sovereign who is not particularized. 
In the illustrations which are attributed to these diffe- 
rent writers, there is so much conformity, that one or 
other is largely indebted to his predecessor. They 
both refer to earlier commentaries. Sridhara cites the 
works of Chitsukha Yogin and others, both more ex- 
tensive and more concise; between which, his own, 
which he terms Atma- orSwa-prakasa, 'self-ilium inator'. 

* The verses referred to are as follows ; 

■^T»^'T^^% %W^T^r!^"H^^-Ri: II 
^TTirT^^% 5TT^ TTW^^W^ II 

^15T^Tf*T^Tt7T^^fT: ^^r^Wfl^ II 

At the end of Ratnagarbha's commentary we read : 


holds an intermediate character.* Ratnagarbha entitles 
his, Vaishi'iavaknta-chandrika, 'the moonlight of devo- 
tion to Vishhii.' The dates of these commentators are 
not ascertainable, as far as I am aware, from any of 
the particulars which they have specified. 

In the notes which I have added to the translation, 
I have been desirous, chiefly, of comparing the state- 
ments of the text with those of other Puranas, and 
pointing out the circumstances in which they differ or 
agree; so as to render the present publication a sort of 
concordance to the whole; as it is not very probable 
that many of them will be published or translated. 
The Index that follows f has been made sufficiently 
copious to answer the purposes of a mythological and 
historical dictionary, as far as the Puranas, or the 
greater number of them, furnish materials. 

In rendering the text into English, I have adhered 
to it as literally as was compatible with some regard 
to the usages of English composition. In general, the 
original presents few difficulties. The style of the Pu- 
ranas is, very commonly, humble and easy; and the 
narrative is plainly and unpretendingly told. In the 
addresses to the deities, in the expatiations upon the 
divine nature, in the descriptions of the universe, and 

* Srulbara, at the opening of his coimiientary, writes thus; 

ICfT^T^T^^ fTITT^T *T"«T^^ f^^^% II 

t A new and aniplilied Index will be given at the end of the last volume. 


in argumentative and metaphysical discussion, there 
occur passages in which the difficulty arising from the 
subject itself is enhanced by the brief and obscure 
manner in which it is treated. On such occasions, I 
derived much aid from the commentary. But it is pos- 
sible that I may have, sometimes, misapprehended and 
misrepresented the original; and it is, also, possible 
that I may have sometimes failed to express its pur- 
port with sufficient precision to have made it intelligible. 
I trust, however, that this will not often be the case, 
and that the translation of the Vishnu Purana wdll be 
of service and of interest to the few who, in these times 
of utilitarian selfishness, conflicting opinion, party vi- 
rulence, and political agitation, can find a resting-place 
for their thoughts in the tranquil contemplation of 
those yet living pictures of the ancient world which 
are exhibited by the literature and mythology of the 




Invocation. Maitreya inquires of his teacher, Parasara, the 
origin and nature of the universe. Parasara performs a rite 
to destroy the demons: reproved by Vasishtha, he desists: 
Pulastya appears, and bestows upon him divine knowledge: 
he repeats the Vishnu Puraiia. Vishnu the origin, existence, 
and end of all things. 


Prayer of Parasara to Vishnu. Successive narration of the Vishnu 
Puraiia. Explanation of Vasudeva: his existence before crea- 
tion: his first manifestations. Description of Pradhana or the 
chief principle of things. Cosmogony. Of Prakrita or ma- 
terial creation; of time; of the active cause. Development of 
effects; Mahat; Ahamkara; Tanmatras; elements; objects of 
sense; senses; of the mundane egg. Vishnu the same as 
Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, Rudra the de- 


Measure of time. Moments or Kashthas, &c. ; day and night; 
fortnight, month, year, divine year: Yugas or ages: Mahayuga 
or great age: day of Brahma: periods of the Manus: a Man- 
wantara: night of Brahma and destruction of the world: a year 
of Brahma: his life: a Kalpa: a Parardha: the past or Padma 
Kalpa: the present or Varaha. 



Narayaria's appearance , in the beginning of the Kalpa , as the 
Varaha or boar: Pi-ithivi (Earth) addresses him: he raises the 
world from beneath the waters: hymned by Sanandana and 
the Yogins. The earth floats on the ocean : divided into seven 
zones. The lower spheres of the universe restored. Creation 

Vishnu, as Brahma, creates the world. General characteristics of 
creation. Brahma meditates , and gives origin to immovable 
things, animals, gods, men. Specific creation of nine kinds: 
Mahat, Tanmatra, Aindriya, inanimate objects, animals, gods, 
men, Anugraha, and Kaumara. More particular account of 
creation. Origin of different orders of beings from Brahma's 
body under different conditions, and of the Vedas from his 
mouths. All things created again as they existed in a former 


Origin of the four castes: their primitive state. Progress of 
society. Different kinds of grain. Efficacy of sacrifice. Duties 
of men : regions assigned them after death. 


Creation continued. Production of the mind-born sons of Brahmti ; 
of the Prajapatis; of Sanandana and others; of Rudra and the 
eleven Rudras; of the Manu Swayambhuva and his wife Sata- 
riipa; of their children. The daughters of Daksha, and their 
marriage to Dharma and others. The progeny of Dharma and 
Adharma. The perpetual succession of worlds, and different 
modes of mundane dissolution. 


Origin of Rudra: his becoming eight Rudras: their wives and 
children. The posterity of Bhfigu. Account of Sri in con- 
junction with Vishnu. (Sacrifice of Daksha.) 



Legend of Lakshmi. Durvtisas gives a garland to Indra: he treats 
it disrespectfully, and is cursed by the Muni. The power of 
the gods impaired: they are oppressed by the Danavas, and 
have recourse to Vishnu. The churning of the ocean. Praises 
of Sri. 


The descendants of the daughters of Daksha married to the Rishis. 


Legend of Dhruva, the son of Uttanapiida: he is unkindly treated 
by his father's second wife: applies to his mother: her advice: 
he resolves to engage in religious exercises: sees the seven 
Rishis, who recommend him to propitiate Vishnu. 


Dhruva commences a course of religious austerities. Unsuccessful 
attempts of Indra and his ministers to distract Dhruva's atten- 
tion : they appeal to Vishnu, who allays their fears, and appears 
to Dhruva. Dhruva praises Vishnu, and is raised to the skies, 
as the pole-star. 


Posterity of Dhruva. Legend of Vena: his impiety: he is put to 
death by the Rishis. Anarchy ensues. The production of 
Nishada and Pfithu : the latter the first king. The oi'igin of 
of Suta and Magadha: they enumerate the duties of kings. 
Pfithu compels Earth to acknowledge his authority: he levels 
it: introduces cultivation: erects cities. Earth called, after him, 
Pfithivi: typified as a cow. 


Descendants of Pfithu. Legend of the Prachetasas : they are de- 
sired, by their father, to multiply mankind, by worshipping 
Vishnu: they plunge into the sea, and meditate on and praise 
him: he appears, and grants their wishes. 



The world overrun with trees: they are destroyed by the Prache- 
tasas. Soma pacifies them, and gives them Marisha to wife: 
her story: the daughter of the nymph Prauilocha, Legend 
of Karidu. Marisha's former history. Daksha the son of the 
Prachetasas: his different characters: his sons: his daughters: 
their marriages andprogeny : allusion to Prahlada, his descendant. 


Inquiries of Maitreya respecting the history of Prahlada. 


Legend of Prahlada. Hirariyakasipu the sovereign of the universe : 
the gods dispersed, or in servitude to him : Prahlada, his son, 
remahis devoted to Vishnu: questioned by his father, he praises 
Vishnu: Hirariyakasipu orders him to be put to death, but in 
vain: his repeated deliverance: he teaches his companions to 
adore Vishnu. 


Hirariyakasipu's reiterated attempts to destroy his son : their being 
always frustrated. 


Dialogue between Prahlada and his father: he is cast from the 
top of the palace unhurt : baffles the incantations of Sambara : 
he is thrown, fettered, into the sea : he praises Vishi'iu. 


Vishnu appears to Prahlada. Hirariyakasipu relents, and is re- 
conciled to his son: he is put to death by Vishriu as the Nri- 
siridia. Prahlada becomes king of the Daityas : his posterity : 
fruit of hearing his story. 


Families of the Daityas. Descendants of Kasyapa by Dann. 
Children of Kasyapa by his other wives. Birth of the Marutas, 
the sons of Diti. 



Dominion over different provinces of creation assigned to different 
beings. Universality of Vishnu. Four varieties of spiritual 
contemplation. Two conditions of spirit. The perceptible 
attributes of Vishnu types of his imperceptible properties. 
Vishnu everything. Merit of hearing the first book of the 
Vishiiu Parana. 



Descendants of Priyavrata, the eldest son of Swayambhuva Manu : 
his ten sons: three adopt a religious life; the others become 
kings of the seven Dwipas or isles of the earth. Agnidhra, 
king of Jambu-dwipa, divides it into nine portions, which he 
distributes amongst his sons. Nabhi, king of the south, suc- 
ceeded by Rishabha, and he, by Bharata : India named , after 
him, Bharata: his descendants reign during the Swayambhuva 


Description of the earth. The seven Dwipas and seven seas. 
Jambu-dwipa. Mount Meru: its extent and boundaries. Extent 
of Ilavfita. Groves, lakes, and branches of Meru. Cities of the 
gods. Rivers. The forms of Vishnu worshipped in different 


Description of Bharata -varsha: extent: chief mountains: nine 
divisions: principal rivers and mountains of Bharata proper: 
principal nations: superiority over other Varshas, especially 
as the seat of religious acts. (Topographical lists.) 


Account of kings, divisions, mountains, rivers, and inhabitants of 
the other Dwipas, viz.,Plaksha, Salmala, Kusa, Krauncha, Saka, 


and Pushkara: of the oceans separating them: of the tides: of 
the confines of the earth : the Lokaloka mountain. Extent of 
the whole. 


Of the seven regions of Patala, below the earth. Narada's praises 
of Patala. Account of the serpent Sesha. First teacher of 
astronomy and astrology. 


Of the different hells, or divisions of Naraka , below Patala : the 
crimes punished in them, respectively: efficacy of expiation: 
meditation on Vishnu the most effective expiation. 


Extent and situation of the seven spheres, viz. earth, sky, planets, 
Mahar-loka , Jana-loka, Tapo-loka, and Satya-loka. Of the 
egg of Brahma, and its elementary envelopes. Of the influence 
of the energy of Vishnu. 


Description of the sun: his chariot; its two axles: his horses. 
The cities of the regents of the cardinal points. The sun's 
course : nature of his rays : his path along the ecliptic. Length 
of day and night. Divisions of time : equinoxes and solstices, 
months , years , the cyclical Yuga or age of five years. Northern 
and southern declinations. Saints on the Lokaloka mountain. 
Celestial paths of the Pitris, gods, Vishnu. Origin of Ganga, 
and separation, on the top of Meru, into four great rivers. 


Planetary system, under the type of a Sisumara or porpoise. The 
earth nourished by the sun. Of rain whilst the sun shines. 
Of rain from clouds. Rain the support of vegetation, and, 
thence, of animal life. Narayaria the support of all beings. 



Names of the twelve Adityas. Names of the Kishis, Gandharvas, 
Apsarasas , Yakshas, Uragas, and Rakshasas , uho attend the 
chariot of the sun in each month of the ycai'. Their respective 


The sun distinct from, and supreme over, the attendants on his 
car: identical with the three Vedas and with Vishnu: his 


Description of the moon: his chariot, horses, and course: fed by 
the sun: drained, periodically, of ambrosia by the progenitors 
and gods. The chariots and horses of the planets: kept in 
their orbits by aerial chains attached to Dhruva, Typical 
members of the planetary porpoise. Vasudeva alone real. 


Legend of Bharata. Bharata abdicates his throne and becomes 
an ascetic : cherishes a fawn , and becomes so much attached 
to it, as to neglect his devotions: he dies: his successive births: 
works in the fields, and is pressed, as a palankin-bearer, for 
the Raja of Sauvira: rebuked for his awkwai'dness: his reply: 
dialogue between him and the king. 


Dialogue continued. Bharata expounds the nature of existence, 
the end of life, and the identification of individual with uni- 
versal spirit. 


Bharata relates the story of Ribhu and Nidagha. The latter, the 
pupil of the former , becomes a prince , and is visited by his 
preceptor, who explains to him the principles of unity, and 



Ribliu returns to his disciple, and perfects him in divine knowledge. 
The same recommended to the Raja, by Bharata, who, there- 
upon, obtains final liberation. Consequences of hearing this legend. 



Account of the several Manus and Manwantaras. Swiuochisha 
the second Manu : the divinities, the Indra, the seven Rishis, 
of his period, and his sons. Similar details of Auttami, Taniasa, 
Raivata, Chakshusha, and Vaivaswata. The forms of Vishnu, 
as the preserver, in each Manwantara. The meaning of Vishnu. 


Of the seven future Manus and Manwantaras. Story of Sanjna and 
Chhaya, wives of the sun, Savarni, son of Chhaya, the eighth 
Manu. His successors, with the divinities, &c. of their respec- 
tive periods. Appearance of Vishnu in each of the four Yugas. 


Division of the Veda into four portions, by a Vyasa, in every 
Dwapara age. List of the twenty-eight Vyasas of the present 
Manwantara. Meaning of the word Brahma. 


Division of the Veda, in the last Dwapara age, by the Vyasa 
Krishna Dwaipayana. Paila made reader of the Rich; Vaisam- 
payana, of the Yajus; Jaimini, of the Saman ; and Sumantu, 
of the Atharvan. Siita appointed to teach the historical poems. 
Origin of the four parts of the Veda. Samhitas of the Rig-veda. 


Divisions of the Yajur-veda. Story of Yajnavalkya: forced to 
give up what he has learned: picked up by others, forming 
the Taittiriya- yajus. Yajnavalkya worships the sun, who 
conmuiuicates to him the Viijasaneyi -yajus. 



Divisions of the Sama-veda: of the Atharva-veda. Four Pauniuik 
Sainhitiis. Names of the eighteen Puraiias. Branches of know- 
ledge. Classes of liishis. 


By what means men are exempted from the authority of Yania, 
as narrated by Bhishma to Nakula. Dialogue between Yama 

' and one of his attendants. Worshippers of Vishnu not subject 
to Yama. How they are to be known. 


How Vishnu is to be worshipped, as related by Aurva to Sagara. 
Duties of the four castes, severally and in common: also in 
time of distress. 


Duties of the religious student, householder, hermit, and mendicant. 


Ceremonies to be observed at the birth and naming of a child. 
Of marrying, or leading a religious life. Choice of a wife. 
Different modes of marrying. 


Of the Sadacharas or perpetual obligations of a householder. 
Daily purifications, ablutions, libations, and oblations: hospi- 
tality: obsequial rites: ceremonies to be observed at meals, at 
morning and evening worship, and on going to rest. 


Miscellaneous obligations, purificatory, ceremonial, and moral. 


Of Sraddluis or rites in honour of ancestors, to be performed on 
occasions of rejoicing. Obse(iuial ceremonies. Of the Ekod- 
dishta or montlily Sniddha, and the Sapindana or annual one. 
By whom to be performed. 


Of occasional Sraddhas or obsequial ceremonies : when most effi- 
cacious, and at what places. 


What Brahmans are to be entertained at Sraddhas. Different 
prayers to be recited. Offerings of food to be presented to 
deceased ancestors. 


Things proper to be offered, as food, to deceased ancestors : pro- 
hibited things. Circumstances vitiating a Sraddha: how to be 
avoided. Song of the Pitris or progenitors, heard by Ikshwaku. 


Of heretics, or those who reject the authority of the Vedas : their 
origin, as described by Vasisht'ha to Bhi'shnia: the gods, de- 
feated by the Daityas, praise Vishnu: an illusory being, or 
Buddha, produced from his body, 


Buddha goes to the earth and teaches the Daityas to contemn 
the Vedas: his sceptical doctrines: his prohibition of animal 
sacrifices. Meaning of the term Bauddha. Jainas and Bauddhas: 
their tenets. The Daityas lose their power, and are overcome 
by the gods. Meaning of the term Nagna. Consequences of 
neglect of duty. Story of Satadhanu and his wife Saivya. 
Communion with heretics to be shunned. 



Dynasties of kings. Origin of the solar dynasty from Brahma. 
Sons of the Manu Vaivaswata. Transformations of Ila or 
Sudyumna. Descendants of the sons of Vaivaswat: those of 
Nedishta. Greatness of Marutta. Kings of Vaisali. Descen- 
dants of Saryati. Legend of Raivata: his daughter Revati 
married to Balarama. 



Dispersion of Revata's descendants : those of Dhrislita : those of 
Nabhaga. Bii'th of Ikshwaku, the son of Vaivaswata: his sons. 
Line of Vikukshi. Legend of Kakutstha; of Dhundhumara; 
of Yuvanaswa; of Mandhatri: his daughters married to 


Saubhari and his wives adopt an ascetic life. Descendants of 
Mandhatri. Legend of Narmada and Purnliutsa. Legend of 
Trisanku. Balm driven from his kingdom by the Haihayas 
and Tiilajanghas. Birth of Sagara: he conquers the barbai'ians, 
imposes upon them distinguishing usages, and excludes them 
from offerings to fire and the study of the Vedas. 


The progeny of Sagara: their wickedness: he performs an Aswa- 
medha: the horse stolen by Kapila: found by Sagara's sons, 
who are all destroyed by the sage: the horse recovered by 
Amsumat : his descendants. Legend of Mitrasaha or Kalma- 
shapada, the son of Sudasa. Legend of Khatwanga. Birth of 
Rama and the other sons of Dasaratha. Epitome of the history 
of Rama: his descendants, and those of his brothers. Line of 
Kusa. Brihadbala, the last, killed in the Great War. 


Kings of Mithila. Legend of Nimi, the son of Ikshwaku. Birth of 
Janaka. Sacrifice of Siradhwaja. Origin of Sita. Descendants 
of Kusadhwaja. Kfita the last of the Maithila princes. 


Kings of the lunar dynasty. Origin of Soma or the moon: he 
carries off Tara, the wife of Brihaspati : war between the gods 
and Asuras, in consequence: appeased by Brahma. Birth of 
Budha: married to Ihi, daughter of Vaivaswata. Legend of 
his son Pururavas and the nymph Urvasf : the former institutes 
offerings with fire : ascends to the sphere of the Gandharvas. 
I. i 



Sons of Puriiravas. Descendants of Amavasu. Lulra born as 
Gadhi. Legend of Ricliika and Satyavati. Birth of Jamadagiii 
and Viswamitra. Parasurama the son of the former. (Legend 
of Parasuraina.) Sunahsepha and others, the sons of Viswa- 
mitra, forming the Kausika race. 


Sons of Ayus. Line of Kshatravriddha, or kings of Kasf. Former 
birth of Dhanwantari. Various names of Pratardana. Great- 
ness of Alarka. 


Descendants of Raji , son of Ayus : Indra resigns his throne to 
him : claimed, after his death, by his sons, who apostatize from 
the religion of theVedas, and are destroyed by Indra. Descend- 
ants of Pratikshatra, son of Kshatravriddlia. 


The sons of Nahusha. The sons of Yayati : he is cursed by Sukra: 
wishes his sons to exchange their vigour for his infirmities. 
Pi'iru alone consents. Yayati restores him his youth: divides 
the earth amongst his sons, under the supremacy of Puru. 


The Yadava race, or descendants of Yadu. Karttavirya obtains 
a boon from Dattatreya: takes Ravaiia prisoner: is killed by 
Parasurama: his descendants. 


Descendants of Kroshtri. Jyamagha's connubial affection for his 
wife Saivya: their descendants kings of Vidarbha and Chedi. 


Sons of Sattwata. Bhoja princes of Mrittikavati. Siirya the friend 
of Satn'ijit: appears to him in a bodily form: gives him the 
Syamantaka gem: its brilliance and marvellous properties. 


Satrajit gives it to Prasena, who is killed by a lion: the lion 
killed by the bear Janibavat. Krishna, suspected of killing 
Prasena, goes to look for him in the forests: traces the bear 
to his cave : fights with him for the jewel : the contest pro- 
longed: supposed, by his companions, to be slain: he overthrows 
Jambavat and marries his daughter Jambavati : returns , with 
her and the jewel, to Dwaraka : restores the jewel to Satrajit 
aiul marries his daughter Satyabhama. Satriijit murdered by 
Satadhanwan: avenged by Krishna. Quarrel between Krishna 
and Balarama. Akrura possessed of the jewel: leaves Dwaraka. 
Public calamities. Meeting of the Yadavas. Story of Akriira's 
birth: he is invited to return: accused, by Krishna, of having 
the Syamantaka jewel: produces it in full assembly: it remains 
in his charge : Krishna acquitted of having purloined it. 


Descendants of Sini, of Anamitra, of Swaphalka and Chitraka, of 
Andhaka. The children of Devaka and Ugrasena. The des- 
cendants of Bhajamana. Children of Sura: his son Vasudeva: 
his daughter Pritha married to Paiidu: her children, Yudhish- 
thira and his brothers; also Kariia, by Aditya. The sons of 
Pandu by Madri. Husbands and children of Svira's other 
daughters. Previous births of Sisupala. 


Explanation of the reason why Sisupala, in his previous births 
as Hiraiiyakasipu and Ravana, was not identified with Vishnu, 
on being slain by him, and was so identified, when killed as 
Sisupala. The wives of Vasudeva: his children: Balarama 
and Krishna his sons by Devaki: born, apparently, of Rohiiii 
and Yasoda. The wives and children of Krishna. Multitude of 
the descendants of Yadu. 


Descendants of Turvasu. 


Descendants of Druhyu. 



Descendants of Ann. Countries and towns named after some of 
them, as Anga, Banga, and others. 


Descendants of Puru. Birth of Bharata, the son of Dushyanta: 
his sons killed: adopts Bharadwaja or Vitatha. Hastin, founder 
of Hastinapura. Sons of Ajamidha, and the races derived fi'om 
them, as Panchalas, &c. Kripa and Kripi found by Santanu. 
Descendants of Riksha, the son of Ajamidha. Kurukshetra 
named from Kuru. Jarasandha and others, kings of Magadha. 


Descendants of Kuru. Devapi abdicates the throne: assumed by 
Santanu: he is confirmed by the Brahmans: Bhishma his son 
by Ganga: his other sons. Birth of Dhritarashtra, Paiidu, 
and Vidura. The hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. The five 
sons of Paiidu: married to Draupadi: their posterity. Pari- 
kshit, the grandson of Arjuna, the reigning king. 


Future kings. Descendants of Parikshit, ending w^ith Kshemaka. 


Future kings of the family of Ikshwaku , ending Avith Sumitra. 


Future kings of Magadha, descendants of Brihadratha. 


Future kings of Magadha. Five princes of the line of Pradyota. 
Ten Saisunagas. Nine Nandas. Ten Mauryas. Ten Sungas. 
Four KanAvas. Thirty Andhrabhrityas. Kings of various tribes 
and castes, and periods of their rule. Ascendancy of barbarians. 
Different races in different regions. Period of universal iniquity 
and decay. Coming of Vishnu as Kalki. Destruction of the 
■wicked, and restoration of the practices of the Vedas. End 


of the Kali, and retiiin of the Krita, age. Duration of the 
Kali. Verses chanted by Earth, and communicated by Asita 
to Janaka. End of the fourth book. 



The death of Karfisa announced. Earth, oppressed by the Daityas, 
applies to the gods. They accompany her to Vishnu, Avho 
promises to give her relief. Kamsa imprisons Vasudeva and 
Devaki. Vishnu's instructions to Yoganidra. 


The conception of Devaki: her appearance: she is praised by 
the gods. 


Birth of Krishna: conveyed by Vasudeva to Mathura, and ex- 
changed with the new-born daughter of Yasoda. Kamsa 
attempts to destroy the latter, who becomes Yoganidra. 


Kamsa addresses his friends, announces their danger, and orders 
male children to be put to death. 


Nanda returns, with the infants Krishna and Balarama, to Gokula. 
Putana killed by the former. Prayers of Nanda and Yasoda. 


Krishna overturns a waggon: casts down two trees. The Gopas 
depart to Vrindavana. Sports of the boys. Description of the 
season of the rains. 


Krishna combats the serpent Kaliya: alarm of his parents and com- 
panions: he overcomes the serpent, and is propitiated by him: 
commands him to depart from the Yamuna river to the ocean. 



The demon Dhenuka destroyed by Raiiia. 


Sports of the boys in the forest. Pralamba the Asura comes 
amongst them: is destroyed by Rama, at the command of 


Description of autumn. Krishna dissuades Nanda from worship- 
ping Indra: recommends him and the Gopas to worship cattle 
and the mountains. 


Indra, offended by the loss of his offerings, causes heavy rains 
to deluge Crokula. Krishna holds up the mountain Govardhana, 
to shelter the cowherds and their cattle. 


Indra comes to Gokula: praises Krishna, and makes him prince 
over the cattle. Krishna promises to befriend Arjuna. 


Krishna praised by the cowherds: his sports with the Gopi's: 
their imitation and love of him. The Rasa dance. 


Krishna kills the demon Arishta, in the form of a bull. 


Kamsa informed by Narada of the existence of Krishna and 
Balanima: he sends Kesin to destroy them, and Akriira, to 
bring them to Mathura. 


Kesin, in the form of a horse, slain by Krishna: he is praised 
by Narada. 



Akri'ira's meditation on Krishna: his arrival at Gokula: his delight 
at seeing Krishna and his brother, 


Grief of the Gopis on the departure of Krishna and Balarama 
with Akrura: their leaving Gokula. Akrura bathes in the 
Yamuna; beholds the divine forms of the two youths, and 
praises Vishnu. 


Akrura conveys Krishna and Rama near to Mathura, and leaves 
them : they enter the town. Insolence of Kamsa's washerman : 
Krishna kills him. Civility of a flower-seller: Krishna gives 
him his benediction. 


Krishiia and Balarama meet Kubja; she is made straight by the 
former: they proceed to the palace. Krishna breaks a bow 
intended for a trial of arms. Kariisa's orders to his servants. 
Public games. Krishna and his brother enter the arena: the 
former wrestles with Chanura, the latter, with Mushtika, the 
king's wrestlers; who are both killed. Krishna attacks and 
slays Kan'isa: he and Balarama do homage to Vasudeva and 
Devaki: the former praises Krishna. 


Krishna encourages his parents; places Ugrasena on the throne; 
becomes the pupil of Sandipani, whose son he recovers from 
the sea: he kills the marine demon Panchajana, and makes a 
horn of his shell. 


Jarasandha besieges Mathura ; is defeated, but repeatedly renews 
the attack. 



Birth of Kalayavana: he advances against Mathura. Krishna 
buikls Dwavaka, and sends thither the Yadava tribe: he leads 
Kalayavana into the cave of Muchukunda: the latter awakes, 
consumes the Yavana king, and praises Krishna. 


Muchukunda goes to perform penance. Krishna takes the army 
and treasures of Kalayavana, and repairs, with them, to Dwuraka. 
Balarama visits Vraja : inquiries of its inhabitants after Krishna. 


Balarama finds wine in the hollow of a tree ; becomes inebriated ; 
commands the Yamuna to come to him, and, on her refusal, 
drags her out of her course: Lakshmi gives him ornaments 
and a dress : he returns to Dwaraka and marries Revati. 


Krishna carries off Rukmihi: the princes who come to rescue her 
repulsed by Balarama. Rukmin overthrown, but, spared by 
Krishna, founds Bhojakata. Pradyumna born of Rukmii'ii. 


Pradyumna stolen by Sambara; thrown into the sea, and swallowed 
by a fish; found by Mayadevi: he kills Sambara, marries 
Mayadevi, and returns, with her, to Dwaraka. Joy of Rukmini 
and Krishna. 


Wives of Krishna. Pradyumna has Aniruddha: nuptials of the 
latter. Balarama, beat at dice, becomes incensed, and slays 
Rukmin and others. 


Indra comes to Dwaraka, and reports to Krishna the tyranny of 
Naraka. Krishna goes to his city, and puts him to death. 
Earth gives the earrings of Aditi to Krishna, and praises him. 


He liberates the princesses made captive by Naraka, sends 
to Dwaraka, and goes to Swarga, with Satyabhama. 


Krishna restores her earrings to Aditi, and is praised by her : he 
visits the gardens of Indra, and, at the desire of Satyabhama, 
carries off the Parijata tree. Sachi excites Indra to its rescue. 
Conflict between the gods and Krishna, who defeats them. 
Satyabhama derides them. They praise Krishna. 


Krishna, with Indra's consent, takes the Parijata tree to Dwaraka; 
marries the princesses rescued from Naraka. 


Children of Krishna. Usha, the daughter of Baria, sees Aniruddha 
in a dream, and becomes enamoured of him. 

Banr, solicits Siva for war : finds Aniruddha in the palace , and 
makes him prisoner. Krishna, Balarama, and Pradyamna come 
to bis rescue. Siva and Skanda aid Bana: the former is dis- 
abled; the latter, put to flight. Baiia encounters Krishna, who 
cuts off all his arms, and is about to put him to death. Siva 
intercedes, and Krishna spares his life. Vishnu and Siva are 
the same. 


Pauiidraka, a Vasudeva, assumes the insignia and style of Krishna, 
supported by the king of Kasi. Krishna marches against and 
destroys them. The son of the king sends a magical being 
against Krishna: destroyed by his discus, which also sets Be- 
nares on fire, and consumes it and its inhabitants. 


Samba carries off the daughter of Duryodhana, but is taken pri- 
soner. Balarama comes to Hastinapura, and demands his 
I. k 


liberation : it is i-efused : in his wrath, he drags the city towards 
him, to throw it into the river. The Kuru chiefs give up 
Samba and his wife. 

The Asura Dwivida, in the form of an ape, destroyed by Balarama. 


Destruction of the Yadavas. Samba and others deceive and ridi- 
cule the Rishis. The former bears an iron pestle: it is broken, 
and thrown into the sea. The Yadavas go to Prabhasa, by 
desire of Krishna: they quarrel and fight, and all perish. The 
great serpent Sesha issues from the mouth of Rama. Krishna 
is shot by a hunter, and again becomes one with universal 


Arjuna comes to Dwaraka, and burns the dead, and takes away 
the surviving inhabitants. Commencement of the Kali age. 
Shepherds and thieves attack Arjuna, and carry off the women 
and wealth. Arjuna regrets the loss of his prowess to Vyasa; 
who consoles him, and tells him the story of Ashtavakra's 
cursing the Apsarasas. Arjuna and his brothers place Pari- 
kshit on the throne , and go to the forests. End of the fifth 



Of the dissolution of the world : the four ages : the decline of all 
things, and deterioration of mankind, in the Kali age. 

Redeeming properties of the Kali age. Devotion to Vishnu suf- 
ficient to salvation, in that age, for all castes and persons. 



Three diiferent kinds of dissolution. Duration of a Parardlia. 
The clepsydra or vessel for measuring time. The dissolution 
that occurs at the end of a day of Brahma. 


Continuation of the account of the first kind of dissolution. Of 
the second kind, or elemental dissolution; of all being resolved 
into primary spirit. 


The third kind of dissolution , or final liberation from existence. 
Evils of worldly life. Sufferings in infancy, manhood, old age. 
Pains of hell. Imperfect felicity of heaven. Exemption from 
birth desirable by the wise. The nature of spirit or god. 
Meaning of the terms Bhagavat and Vasudeva. 


Means of attaining liberation. Anecdotes of Kharidikya and 
Kesidhwaja. The former instructs the latter how to atone for 
permitting the death of a cow. Kesidhwaja offers him a re- 
quital, and he desires to be instructed in spiritual knowledge. 


Kesidhwaja describes the nature of ignorance . and the benefits 
of the Yoga or contemplative devotion. Of the novice and 
the adept in the performance of the Yoga. How it is per- 
formed. The first stage, proficiency in acts of restraint and 
moral duty: the second, particular mode of sitting: the third, 
Praiiayama, modes of breathing: the fourth, Pratyahara, res- 
traint of thought : the fifth , apprehension of spirit : the sixth, 
retention of the idea. Meditation on the individual and uni- 
versal forms of Vishnu. Acquirement of knowledge. Final 



Conclusion of the dialogue between Parasara and Maitreya. Re- 
capitulation of the contents of the Vishnu Purana; merit of 
hearing it: how handed down. Praises of Vishnu. Conclu- 
ding prayer. 


BOOK 1. 


Invocation. Maitreya inquires of his teacher, Parasara, the 
origin and nature of the universe. Parasara performs a rite 
to destroy the demons: reproved hy Vasishtha, he desists: 
Pulastya appears, and bestows upon him divine knowledge: 
he repeats the Vishnu Puratia. Vishnu the origin, existence, 
and end of all things. 

vJM! glory to Vasudeva.^ — Victory be to thee, 
Pundarikaksha; adoration be to thee, Viswabhavana; 

' ^5F^ I «fif^ •^flBl^^Tq' I An address of this kind, to one 
or other Hindu divinity, usually introduces Sanskrit compositions, 
especially those considered sacred. The first term of this Mantra 
or brief prayer, Om or Oiiikara, is well known as a combination 
of letters invested by Hindu mysticism with peculiar sanctity. 
In the Vedas, it is said to comprehend all the gods; and, in the 
Puraiias, it is directed to be prefixed to all such formulae as 
that of the text. Thus, in the Uttara Khaiida" of the Padma 
Purana: 'The syllable Om, the mysterious name, or Brahma, is 
the leader of all prayers: let it, therefore., O lovely -faced, 
(Siva addresses Durga,) be employed in the beginning of all 
prayers ' : 

W^ W^-^ ^^fT ^Wmi "^ ^^T^% II 

* Chapter XXXII. 



glory be to thee, Hrishikesa, Mahapurusha and Pur- 
vaja. ^ 

According to the same authority, one of the mystical imports of 
the term is the collective enunciation of Vishnu, expressed by A ; 
of Sri, his bride, intimated by u; and of their joint worshipper, 
designated by M. A whole chapter of the Vayu Purana is de- 
voted to this term. A text of the Vedas is there cited: "^f?T- 
^^T^T ^W I 'Om, the monosyllable Brahma'; the latter 
meaning either the supreme being, or the Vedas collectively, of 
which this monosyllable is the type. It is also said to typify 
the three spheres of the world, the three holy fires, the three 
steps of Vishnu, &c. : 

Frequent meditation upon it and repetition of it ensure release 
from worldly existence: 

^ %^i:m ^n?f^^ wr^rf^ TT ^^: II 

W^^ f^^TSf ^T't fH^ Td^W^HW. II 

See, also, Manu, II., 76, Vasudeva, a name of Vishnu or Krishna, 
is, according to its grammatical etymology, a patronymic deri- 
vative implying son of Vasudeva. The Vaishnava Purarias, 
however, devise other explanations. See the next chapter, and, 
again, b. VI., c. 5. 

' In this stanza occurs a series of the appellations of Vishnu : 
1. Puiidarikaksha (■RT^'^eRT^), having eyes like a lotos, or 
heart-pervading: or Puridarika is explained supreme glory, and 
Aksha, imperishable. The first is the most usual etymon. 2. Vi- 
swabhavana (f^'^^^wf), the creator of the universe, or the 
cause of the existence of all things. 3. Hrishikesa (C^^^)? 

* This verse is also found in the Mdrkandeya-purdna, XLIL, 8 ; p. 241 of 
the edition in the Bihliotheca Indica. 

BOOK I., CHAP. r. 3 

May that Vishnu, who is the existent, imperishable 
Brahma; who is Iswara;^ who is spirit;^ who, with the 
three qualities,^ is the cause of creation, preservation, 
and destruction ; who is the parent of nature, intellect, 

lord of the senses.* 4. Mahapurusha (^^T'3"^'^), great or su- 
preme spirit; Purusha meaning that which abides or is quiescent 
in body (puri sete). 5. Piirvaja ^XJ^^V produced or appearing 
before creation; the Orphic TTQCovoynrog. In the fifth book, 
c. 18, Vishnu is described by five appellations which are con- 
sidered analogous to these; or: 1. Bhutatraan (^fn^I^): oiic with 
created things, or Puiidarikaksha; 2. Pradhanatman (TT^TT'TTTil'^,), 
one with crude nature, or Viswabhavana; 3. Indriyatmau (^^f^- 
4| I dl "t)} one with the senses, or Hrishikesa; 4. Paramatman (yTTr 
♦ITcfl't.) 5 supreme spirit, or Mahapurusha; and Atman (■^di'V), 
soul, living soul, animating nature and existing before it, or 

^ Brahma (w^*!.) 5 ^^ ^'^® neuter form , is abstract supreme 
spirit; and Iswara (f^^X;) is the deity in his active nature, 
he who is able to do or leave undone, or to do anything in any 
other manner that that in which it is done: cpffT{[^rrTf«2T^T Wf{ 

^ Pums (^XJ^V which is the same with Purusha, incor- 
porated spirit. By this, and the two preceding terms, also, the 
commentator understands the text to signify , that Vishnu is any 
form of spiritual being that is acknowledged by different philo- 
sophical systems; or that he is the Brahma of the Vedanta, 
the Iswara of the Patanjala, and the Purusha of the Sankhya, 

^ The three qualities, to which we shall have further occasion 
to advert, are: Sattwa Tjfpx^V goodness or purity, knowledge, 

* In the Mahdhhdrata, Udyoga-parvan, 2564 and 2567, Pui'ularikaksha 
aud Hrishikesa are explained to a very different purport. The stanzas 
are quoted aud translated in Muir's Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., 
pp. 182 and 183. 



and the other ingredients of the universe;^ be to us 
the bestower of understanding, wealth, and final 

Having adored Vishnu,^ the lord of all, and paid 

quiescence; Rajas ("^^), foulness, passion, activity; and Tamas 
CfTT^), darkness, ignorance, inertia.* 

' Pradhcinabuddhyadijagatprapanchasuh (^ IfVT«1^^ lf«;^*lfM- 
Xigw:). This predicate of the deity distinguishes most of the 
Puranas from several of the philosophical systems, which main- 
tain, as did the earliest Grecian systems of cosmogony, the 
eternal and independent existence of the first principle of things, 
as nature, matter, or chaos. Accordingly, the commentator no- 
tices the objection. Pradhtina being without beginning, it is 
said, How can Vishnu be its parent? To which he replies, that 
this is not so ; for , in a period of worldly destruction (Pralaya), 
when the creator desists from creating, nothing is generated by 
virtue of any other energy or parent. Or, if this be not satis- 
factory, then tlie text may be understood to imply that intellect 
(Buddhi), &c., are formed through the materiality of crude nature 
or Pradhana. 

^ Vishnu is commonly derived, in the Puranas, from the root 
Vis (^f^'^V to enter; entering into or pervading the universe: 
agreeably to the text of the Vedas: flc^T rf^TT'^'Srf^'Srf^ I 
'Having created that (world), he then afterwards enters into it;' 
being, as our comment observes, undistinguished by place, time, 
or property: ^If^T^r^^Xr^ ^^^^THT^Tft, ' According to the 
Matsya P. , the name alludes to hjs entering into the mundane 
egg: according to the Padma P., to his entering into, or combining 
with, Prakfiti , as Purusha or spirit: 

In the Moksha Dharma of the Mahabharata, s. 165, the word is 
derived from the root vi C^T) , signifying motion , pervasion, 

See the editor's second note in p. 26, and note iu p. 35, infra. 

BOOK I., CHAP. I. 5 

reverence to Brahma and the rest;^ having also saluted 
the spiritual preceptor;^ I will narrate a Puraiia equal 
in sanctity to the Vedas. 

production, radiance; or, irregularly, from krani ('^f?^V to go, 
with the particle vi (f^) , implying variously, prefixed. * 

' Brahma, and the rest is said to apply to the series of 
teachers through whom this Puraria was transmitted from its 
first reputed author, Brahma, to its actual narrator, the sage 
Panisara. See, also, b. VI., c. 8. 

^ The Guru or spiritual preceptor is said to be Kapila or 
Saraswata. The latter is included in the series of teachers of 
the Puriiiia. Panisara must be considered also as a disciple of 
Kapila, as a teacher of the Sankhya philosophy. 

* There seems to be a misunderstanding, here, on the part of the 
translator; for, in the passage of the Mahdbhdrata referred to by him, — 
which can be no other than the Sdnti-parvan, Moksha-dharma, 13170 
and 13171 — Vishnu is taken to be derived, with the affix of, from f%^^, 
"to shine" and also "to move". That passage is subjoined: 

Arjuna Misra, commenting on these verses, derives the word from f^^:^ 
in the acceptation of "to go". He seems to admit this verb likewise in 
the Vaidik sense of "to eat." But the latter view is not borne out by 
the text. His words are-. f^X^TT^rq-f^^f | ^rf?f%f7T I f^"Npt- 

In the Nighn/it'u, II., 8, ^^fs occurs as a synonym of "^f^. 

Gangadhara, in his metrical gloss on the thousand names of Vishnu, 
expresses himself as follows, touching the six hundred and fifty -seventh 
of them: 

f^-o^: ^ f^^^f?T ^ ^^ ff ^T^m ^: ii 

TffW ^^ W ff f^^ ^/T '^ ^T^rf : I 

^^Trf^^^^^w*^: II 


Maitreya,' having saluted him reverentially, thus 
addressed Parasara, — the excellent sage, the grandson 
of Vasishtha,* — who was versed in traditional history 
and the Puranas; who was acquainted with the Vedas 
and the branches of science dependent upon them, 
and skilled in law and philosophy ;t and who had 
performed the morning rites of devotion. 

Maitreya said: Master! I have been instructed, by 
you, in the whole of the Vedas, and in the institutes 
of law and of sacred science. Through your favour, 
other men, even though they be my foes, cannot ac- 
cuse me of having been remiss in the acquirement of 
knowledge. I am now desirous, thou who art pro- 
found in piety , to hear from thee how this world was, 
and how in future it will be? what is its substance, 
Brahman; and whence proceeded animate and inani- 
mate things? into what has it been resolved; and into 
what will its dissolution again occur? how were the 
elements manifested? whence proceeded the gods and 
other beings? what are the situation and extent of 
the oceans and the mountains, the earth, the sun, and 
the planets? what are the families of the gods and 

^ Maitreya is the disciple of Parasara, who relates the Vishiiii 
Puraiia to him. He is also one of the chief interlocutors in the 
Bhagavata, and is introduced, in the Mahabharata (Vana Parvan, 
s. 10) , as a great Rishi or sage , who denounces Duryodhana's 
death. In the Bhagavata, he is also termed Kausaravi, or the 
son of Kusarava. 

* Literally, " Vasisht'ha's son's son". Parasara's father, as the com- 
mentator remarks , was Saktri. See my second note in p. 8, infra. 

\ "And philosophy" is the commentator's definition of the original^ 
ddiy "and the rest". 

BOOK I., CHAP. I. 7 

others, the Manns, the periods called Manwantaras, 
those termed Kalpas, and their subdivisions, and the 
four ages: the events that happen at the close of a 
Kalpa, and the terminations of the several ages:^ the 
histories, great Muni, of the gods, the sages, and 
kings ; and how the Vedas were divided into branches 
(or schools), after they had been arranged by Vyasa:* 
the duties of the Brahmans and the other tribes, as 
well as of those who pass through the different orders 
of life? All these things I wish to hear from you, 
grandson of Vasishtha. f Incline thy thoughts bene- 
volently towards me, that I may, through thy favour, 
be informed of all I desire to know. 

Parasara replied: Well inquired, pious Maitreya. 
You recall to my recollection that which was of old 
nari'ated by my father's father, Vasishtha. I had heard 
that my father had been devoured by a Rakshasa em- 
ployed by Viswamitra. Violent anger seized me; and 
I commenced a sacrifice for the destruction of the 
Rakshasas. Hundreds of them were reduced to ashes 
by the rite; when, as they were about to be entirely 
extirpated, my grandfather Vasishtha thus spake to 
me: Enough, my child; let thy wrath be appeased: 
the Rakshasas are not culpable : thy father's death was 
the work of destiny. Anger is the passion of fools; it 
becometh not a wise man. By whom, it may be asked, 

' One copy reads Yugadliarma , the duties peculiar to the 
four ages, or their characteristic properties, instead of Yuganta. 

* Vydsa-kartrika has, rather, the signification of "composed by 
\ To the letter, "son of Vasisht'ha", whose father was Vasishtha. 


is any one killed? Every man reaps the consequences 
of his own acts. Anger, my son, is the destruction of 
all that man obtains, by arduous exertions, of fame 
and of devout austerities, and prevents the attainment 
of heaven or of emancipation. The chief sages always 
shun wrath: be not thou, my child, subject to its in- 
fluence. Let no more of these unoffending spirits of 
darkness be consumed. '"'" Mercy is the might of the 
righteous. ^ 

* Sacrifice of Parasara. The story of Parasara's birth is 
narrated in detail in the Mahabharata (Adi Parvan, s. 176). King 
Kalmashapada , meeting with Sakti , the son of Vasishtha , in a 
narrow path in a thicket, desired him to stand out of his way. 
The sage refused; on which the Eaja beat him with his whip; 
and Sakti cursed him to become a Rtikshasa , a man-devouring 
spirit. The Raja, in this transformation, killed and ate its 
author, or Sakti, together with all the other sons of Vasishtha. 
Sakti left his wife, Adfisyanti, pregnant; and she gave birth to 
Parasara, who was brought up by his grandfather. When he 
grew up , and was informed of his father's death , he instituted a 
sacrifice for the destruction of all the Rakshasas , but was dis- 
suaded from its completion by Vasishtha and other sages, or 
Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu. The Mahabharata adds, that, 
when he desisted from the rite, he scattered the remaining sacri- 
ficial fire upon the northern face of the Himalaya mountain, 
where it still blazes forth, at the phases of the moon, consuming 
Rakshasas , forests , and mountains. The legend alludes , pos- 
sibly, to some trans-himalayan volcano. The transformation of 
Kalmashapada is ascribed, in other places, to a different cause; 
but he is everywhere regarded as tlie devourer of Sakti f or 
Saktri, as the name also occurs. The story is told in the Linga 

* Supply: "Let this thy sacrifice cease": ^p^ ff f^"^*T^fTc^ I 

f This is hardly the name of a male. The right word seems to be 

BOOK I., CHAP. r. 9 

Being thus admonished by my venerable grandsire, 
1 immediately desisted from the rite, in obedience to 
his injunctions; and Vasishtha, the most excellent of 
sages, was content with me. Then arrived Pulastya, 

Puraiia (Piirvardha, s. 64) in the same manner, with the addition, 
conformably to the Saiva tendency of that work, that Parasava 
begins his sacrifice by propitiating Mahadeva. Vasishtha's dis- 
suasion and Pulastya's appearance are given in the very words 
of our text; and the story concludes: 'Thus, through the favour 
of Pulastya and of the wise Vasishtha , Para.sara composed the 
Vaishiiava (Vishnu) Puraiia, containing ten thousand stanzas, and 
being the third of the Puraria compilations' (Puraiia-sarfihita).* 
The Bhagavata (b. III., s. 8) also alludes, though obscurely, to 
this legend. In recapitulating the succession of the narrators of 
part of the Bhagavata, Maitreya states, that this first Puraria was 
communicated to him by his Guru , Parasara , as he had been 
desired by Pulastya: 

i. e. , according to the commentator, agreeably to the boon given 
by Pulastya to Pan'isara, saying, 'You shall be a narrator of 
Purarias'; (YTTW^^T t ^f^'^f%)- The Mahablulrata makes 
no mention of the communication of this faculty to Parasara by 
Pulastya; and, as the Bhagavata could not derive this particular 

^3T^t ^'Twr^T^^ wr^^^i'l II 

1<^ ff JTTW^ ^ff ^Tf f ^^I'W: II 

The lithographed Bombay edition of the Linga-purdna gives the end of 
this passage difl'erently , so as to reduce the Vishi'ni-purdna to six thou- 
sand stanzas, and to reckon it as the fourth of the Puraiias: 

"^^ f% 5TrwT^ ^ff rHf f ifr^i^Tn: ii 

f An oversight of quotation, for T:j'^7TJJ"j:j'^'3f|'. See Goldstiicker's 
Pd/iini, His Place in Sanskrit Literature, pp. 145 et seg. 


the son of Brahma/ who was received, by my grand- 
father, with the customary marks of respect. The 
ilhistrious brother* of Pulaha said to me: Since, in 
the violence of animosity, you have hstened to the 
words of your progenitor, and have exercised clemency, 
therefore you shall become learned in every science. 
Since you have forborne, even though incensed, to 
destroy my posterity, I will bestow upon you another 
boon; and you shall become the author of a summary 
of the Purafias.^ Yo-u shall know the true nature of 
the deities, as it really is;f and, whether engaged in 

from that source, it here, most probably, refers, unavowedly, as 
the Linga does avowedly , to the Vishnu Puraria. 

' Pulastya, as will be presently seen, is one of the Rishis 
who were the mind-born sons of Brahma. Pulaha, who is here 
also named, is another. Pulastya is considered as the ancestor 
of the Riikshasas; as he is the father of Visravas, the father of 
Ravaiia and his brethren. Uttara Ramayaiia. Mahabharata, 
Vana Parvan, s. 272, Padma Pur. Linga Pur., s. 63. 

You shall be a maker t of the San'ihita or compendium of the 
Purai'ias, or of the Vishnu Purana, considered as a summary or 
compendium of Pauriihik traditions. In either sense, it is incom- 
patible with the general attribution of all the Purarias to Vyasa. 

* Read "elder brother", agraja. 

f Rather, agreeably to the commentator: "You shall obtain in a proper 
manner the highest object deriruhle from apprehension of deity". This 
is said to be "knowledge conducive to emancipation". In the Sanskrit: 

The Hue under exposition is as follows: 

X Kartri is, howo\er, elucidated, in the commentary, by pravartaka, 
"publisher" only. 

BOOK I., CHAP. I. 11 

religious rites, or abstaining from their performance/ 
your understanding, through my favour, shall be per- 
fect, and exempt from doubts. Then my grandsire 
Vasishtha added: Whatever has been said to thee by 
Pulastya shall assuredly come to pass. 

Now truly all that was told me formerly by Va- 
sishtha, and by the wise Pulastya, has been brought 
to my recollection by your questions; and I will relate 
to you the whole, even all you have asked. Listen to 
the complete compendium of the Puranas, according 
to its tenor. The world was produced from Vishnu: 
it exists in him : he is the cause of its continuance and 
cessation:* he is the woi'ld." 

' Whether performing the usual ceremonies of the Brahmans, 
or leading a life of devotion and penance, which supersedes the 
necessity of rites and sacrifices. 

2 These are, in fact, the brief replies to Maitreya's six 
questions (p. 6), or: How was the world created? By Vishnu. 
How will it be? At the periods of dissolution, it will be in 
Vishnu. Whence proceeded animate and inanimate things? From 
Vishnu. Of what is the substance of the world? Vishnu. Into 
what has it been, and will it again be, resolved? Vishnu. He 
is, therefore, both the instrumental and material cause of the 
universe. 'The answer to the "whence" replies to the query 
as to the instrumental cause: "He is the world" replies to the 
inquiry as to the material cause ' : "^^oT '^nT% t!^^ fsTf^TTIT^r- 
^trTt ^1W ^ ^^tH^'R'R^^tTT'I I '-^"d by this explana- 
tion of the agency of the materiality, &c. of Vishnu, as regards 
the universe, (it follows that) all will be produced from, and all 
will repose in, him': ^%^ fsfWt: ^^^I^Tr^PT^^Hi^^T- 
r<«*«l'^'i fr^T^^^f^^rf^ rT%^ ^"RTWtftl I t We have 

♦ Saihyama. See the editor's first note in p. 26, infra, 
f These two extracts are from the commentary on the Vishnu-yurdna. 
The first is a little abridged. 


here precisely the ro rrav of the Orphic doctrines; and we might 
fancy, that Brucker was translating a passage from a Parana, 
when he describes them in these words: "Continuisse Jovem 
[lege Vishnum] sive summum deum in se omnia, omnibus ortum 
ex se dedisse; et ** omnia ex se genuisse, et ex sua pro- 
duxisse essentia; Spiritum esse universi, qui omnia regit, vivificat, 
estque ** Ex quibus necessario sequitur omnia in eum reditura." 
Hist. Philos. , I., 388. Jamblichus and Proclus also testify that 
the Pythagorean doctrines of the origin of the material world 
from the Deity, and its identity with him, were much the same. 
Cudworth, Intell. Syst, Vol. I., p. 346. 


Prayer of Parasara to Vishnu. Successive narration of the Vishnu 
Purai'ia. Explanation of Vtisudeva: his existence before crea- 
tion: his first manifestations. Description of Praclh/uia or the 
chief principle of things. Cosmogony. Of Prakrita or ma- 
terial creation; of time; of the active cause. Development of 
effects; Mahat; Alian'ikara; Tanmatras; elements; objects of 
sense; senses; of the mundane egg. Vishnu the same as 
Brahma the creator; Vishnu the preserver; Rudra the de- 

Parasara said: Glory to the unchangeable, holy, 
eternal, supreme Vishnu, of one universal nature, the 
mighty over all: to him who is Hiranyagarbha, Hari, 
and Sankara, ^ the creator, the preserver, and destroyer 

' The three hypostases of Vishnu. Hiranyagarbha (f^i;;^- 
;rT*f) is a name of Brahma; he who was born from the golden 
egg. Hari (^f^) is Vishnu; and Sankara (ijoR^), Siva. The 
Vishnu who is the subject of our text is the supreme being in 
all these three divinities or hypostases, in his different characters 
of creator, preserver, and destroyer. Thus, in the Miirkarideya :* 
'Accordingly, as the primal all-pervading spirit is distinguished 
by attributes in creation and the rest, so he obtains the denomi- 
nation of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. In the capacity of Brahma, 
he creates the worlds; in that of Rudra, he destroys them; in 
that of Vishnu , he is quiescent. These are the three Avasthas 
(lit., hypostases) of the self-born. Brahma' is the quality of ac- 
tivity; Rudra, that of darkness; Vishnu, the lord of the world, 
is goodness. So, therefore, the three gods are the three qualities. 

* XLYI., 16 et seq. The edition in the Bibliotheca Indiea gives several 
discrepant readings. 


of the world: to Vasudeva, the liberator of his wor- 
shippers:"' to him whose essence is both single and 
manifold; who is both subtile and corporeal, indiscrete 
and discrete: to Vishnu, the cause of final eman- 
cipation. ^ Glory to the supreme Vishnu, the cause 

They are ever combined with, and dependent upon, one another; 
and they are never for an instant separate; they never quit each 
other :' 

W^ ^^ ^WP"^^^ ^^T(?Tf^ I 

t^-^w sU ^^^'ff^^ ^^^t: ^^^: II 
Twr win fT'rr ^^ fr^: ^7^ ^ifTfTT: i 

^fT TIW ^-^fr ^WT TTrT TT^ ^ift ^j: II 

The notion is one common to all antiquity, although less philo- 
sophically conceived, or, perhaps, less distinctly expressed, in the 
passages which have come down to us. The tQ£7g aQXixag 
vnooTaOEig of Plato are said, by Cudworth (I., 111.), upon the 
authority of Plotinus, to be an ancient doctrine, naXciia. do^a. 
And he also observes: "For, since Orpheus, Pythagoras, and 
Plato , who , all of them , asserted a trinity of divine hypostases, 
unquestionably derived much of their doctrine from the Egyptians, 
it may be reasonably suspected, that these Egyptians did the like 
before them." As, however, the Grecian accounts and those of 
the Egyptians are much more perplexed and unsatisfactory than 
those of the Hindus, it is most probable that we find amongst 
them the doctrine in its most original, as well as most methodical 
and significant, form. 

' This address to Vishnu pursues the notion that he, as the 
supreme being, is one, whilst he is all. He is Avikara, not sub- 

* The words "of his worshippers" are supplied from the commentary. 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 15 

of the creation, existence, and end of this world; 
who is the root of the world, and who consists of the 
world. ^ 

Having glorified him who is the support of all 
thinss: who is the smallest of the small ;^ who is in all 
created things; the unchanged,"'' imperishable^ Puru- 

ject to change: Sadaikanipa , one invariable nature: he is the 
liberator (Tara), or he who bears mortals across the ocean of 
existence: he is both single and manifold (Ekanekarupa): and 
he is the indiscrete (Avyakta) cause of the world , as well as 
the discrete (Vyakta) effect; or the invisible cause and visible 

' Jaganmaya, made up, or consisting substantially (^"^), of 
the world. Maya is an affix denoting 'made' or 'consisting of; 
as Kiishthamaya, 'made of wood'. The world is, therefore, not 
regarded, by the Paurahiks, as an emanation, or an illusion, but 
as consubstantial with its first cause. 

^ Ariiyamsam aniyasam (^Ijft^f ^T^lfl *<^t)? ' the most atomic 
of the atomic'; alluding to the atomic theory of the Nyaya or 
logical school. 

^ Or Achyuta (-41 -^dd) ; a common name of Vishnu, from a 
privative, and Chyuta, fallen: according to our comment, 'he 
who does not perish with created things'. The Mahabharata 
interprets it, in one place, to mean 'he who is not distinct from 
final emancipation'; and, in another, to signify 'exempt from 
decay' ("^'i^'^'l)- A commentator on the Kasikhahda of the 
Skanda Puraiia explains it 'he who never declines (or varies) 
from his own proper nature:' ^HT^T^M "^ «< <T it 

• In the original there is no term to which this corresponds. 


shottama;^ who is one with true wisdom, as truly 
known;" eternal and incorrupt;* and who is known, 
through false appearances, by the nature of visible 
objects: ^f having bowed to Vishnu, the destroyer, 

' This is another common title of Vishnu , implying supreme, 
best (Uttama), spirit (Purusha), or male, or sacrifice, or, ac- 
cording to the Mahabh. , Moksha Dharma, whatever sense Pu- 
rusha may bear: 

^ Paramarthatah (■R'^TTTfT ' '^^Y ^^' through the real object, 
or sense ; through actual trutli.' 

^ Bhrantidarsanatah (>^Tf^^'5J»TcT:) , 'false appearances,' in 
opposition to actual truth. 'By the nature of visible objects' 
('^^^"^W)= Artha is explained by Drisya ("fl?r), 'visible'; 
Swari'ipeha, by 'the nature of. That is, visible objects are not 
what they seem to be, independent existences; they are essen- 
tially one with their original source; and knowledge of their 
true nature, or relation to Vishnu, is knowledge of Vishiiu him- 

* "Who is, essentially, one with intelligence, transcendent, and without 

-j- Preferably: "Conceived of, by reason of erroneous apprehension, 
as a material form": 

The commentary runs: ^^*<^'^in' "^^"^TIT f S^^^afTOrT'WT'f'T 

f^ff Hff^fT^ I The "erroneous apprehension" spoken of is here ex- 
plained as arising from the conception of the individual soul. 
+ In the Harivanim, 11358, we find: 

''Purusha, that is to say, sacrifice, or whatever else is meant by purusha, 
—all that, known for highest (para), is called Parushottama." 
The word is a karmadhdraija compound, not a tatpurusha. 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 17 

and lord of creation and preservation; the ruler of the 
world; unborn, imperishable, undecaying:* I will 
relate to you that which was originally imparted by 
the great father of all (Brahmaf), in answer to the 
questions of Daksha and other venerable sages, and 
repeated by them to Purukutsa, a king who reigned 
on the banks of the Narmada. It was next related by 
him to Saraswata, and by Saraswata to me.^ 

Who can describe him who is not to be apprehended 
by the senses: who is the best of all things; the su- 
preme soul, self- existent: w^ho is devoid of all the 
distinguishing characteristics of complexion, caste, or 
the like; and is exempt from birth, vicissitude, death, 
or decay:: who is always, and alone: who exists 
everywhere, and in whom all things here exist; and 
who is, thence, named Vasudeva?'' He is Brah- 

self. This is not the doctrine of Maya, or the influence of illu- 
sion, which alone, according to Vedanta idealism, constitutes 
belief in the existence of matter: a doctrine foreign to most of 
the Puraiias, and first introduced amongst them, apparently, by 
the Bhagavata. 

■ A different and more detailed account of the transmission 
of the Vishnu Purana is given in the last book, c. 8. 

* The ordinary derivation of Vasudcva has been noticed 
above (p. 2). Here it is derived from Vas, 'to dwell,' from 
Yishiiu's abiding in all things, and all in him: ^f^"^!"^ ^TW 
'q- '^^(^T'^ I The Mahabharata explains Vasu in the same man- 
ner, and Deva to signify radiant, shining: ^J% ^1^^T(3Tf'T ^W- 

* Avyaya. Here and elsewhere the commentator gives aparindmin, 
"immutable", as its synonym. 

f Expressed by Abjayoni, "Lotos-boru". 

+ Add "increase", riddhi. 

I. 2 


ma/ supreme, lord, eternal, unborn, imperishable, un- 
decaying; of one essence; ever pure, as free from defects. 
He, that Brahma, was all things; comprehending in 
his own nature the indiscrete and discrete. He then 
existed in the forms of Purusha and of Kala. Purusha 
(spirit) is the first form of the supreme; next proceeded 
two other forms, the discrete and indiscrete; and Kala 
(time) was the last.* These four — Pradhana (primary 

^T^"^%ffT «rT^[^^^ I 'He causes all things to dwell in hiui; and 
he abides in all: whence he is named Vasu. Being resplendent 
as the sun, he is called Deva: and he who is both these is de- 
nominated Vasudeva.' See also b. VI., c. 5. 

' The commentator argues, that Vasudeva must be the Brahma 
or supreme being of the Vedas, because the same circumstances 

^WT^W fft^T^ ^ cj,H<?I^T7T^ II 

"That Brahma, in its totality, has, essentially, the aspect of prakriti, 
both evolved and unevolved, and also the aspect of spirit, and the aspect 
of time. Spirit, twice-born, is the leading aspect of the supreme Brahma. 
The next is a twofold aspect, viz., praknti, both evolved and unevolved; 
and time is the last." 

It seems, therefore, not that praknti, spirit, and time originated from 
Brahma, but that Brahma offers itself under these modes of apprehension. 
These modes are coessential with Brahma. 

The last line of the text cited above admitting of two interpretations, 
that has been chosen which harmonizes the doctrine of the writer of the 
Purana with the doctrine of his quotation in pp. 23 — 25, infra; for on 
that his own enunciation here undoubtedly is founded. 

Professor Wilson adopted the following reading of the first line of the 
verses in question : 

f These words have the appearance of being a glossarial expansion of 
an etymology given in the Mahdbhdrata, or some similar work. The 

BOOK I., CHAP. ir. 19 

or crude matter), Piirusha (spirit), Vyakta (visible 
substance), and Kala (time) — the wise consider to be 
the pure and supreme condition of Vishnu.^ These 
four forms, in their due proportions, are the causes of 
the production of the phenomena of creation , preser- 
vation, and destruction. Vishnu, being thus discrete 
and indiscrete substance, spirit, and time, sports hke 

are predicated of both, as eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence, 
&c.; but he does not adduce any scriptural text with the name 

* Time is not usually enumerated , in the Puraiias , as an 
element of the first cause; but the Padma P. and the Bhagavata 
agree with the Vishnu in including it. It appears to have been 
regarded, at an earlier date, as an independent cause. The com- 
mentator on the Moksha Dharma cites a passage from the Vedas, 
which he understands to allude to the different theories of the 
cause of creation : 

Time, inherent nature, consequence of acts, self-will, elementary 
atoms, matter, and spirit, asserted, severally, by the Astrologers, 
the Buddhists, the Mimamsakas, the Jainas, the Logicians, the 
Saiikhyas, and the Vedantins. KQoi'og was also one of the first 
generated agents in creation, according to the Orphic theogony. 

commentary on the Vishnu- pur di'ui has: ^p^%flT | ^^^n^n" "^^fff 

^^RTlft(T'TT%^ ^T¥^^ f^fftfTT 'ft^W^ t^^%: I 

In the Mahdbhdfata, Sdnti-parcan, 13169, we read: 

* From the Swetdiwatara Upanishad. See the Bibliotheca Indica, 
Vol. VII , p. 275. 



a playful boy, as yon shall learn by listening to his 
frolics. ^ 

That chief principle (Pradhana), which is the in- 
discrete cause, is called, by the sages, also Prakriti 
(nature): it is subtile, uniform, and comprehends what 
is and what is not (or both causes and effects);* is 
durable, self-sustained, illimitable, undecaying, and 
stable; devoid of sound or touch, and possessing 
neither colour nor form; endowed with the three qua- 
lities (in equilibrium); the mother of the w^orld; with- 
out beginning;^ and that into which all that is produced 

' The creation of the world is very commonly considered to 
be the Lihi (^^t^)? sport or amusement, of the supreme being. 

^ The attributes of Pradhana, the chief (principle or element), 
here specified, conform, generally, to those ascribed to it by the 
Sankhya philosophy (Sclnkhya Karika, p. 16, &c.); although some 
of them are incompatible with its origin from a first cause, f In 
the Sankhya, this incongruity does not occur; for there Pradhana 
is independent, and coordinate with primary spirit. The Puriinas 
give rise to the inconsistency, by a lax use of both philosophical 
and pantheistical expressions. The most incongruous epithets in 
our text are, however, explained away in the comment. Thus, 
Nitya (f'TW)? 'eternal', is said to mean 'uniform, not liable to 
increase or diminution': f«t(4| ^f^cfil^lj W^nt^C^I*!, I Sada- 
sadatmaka (^^^T^TSTcfi) , 'comprehending what is and what is 
not', means 'having the power of both cause and effect' (ctli^- 
^TT'JI^t^^W), as proceeding fronl Vishnu, and as giving origin 
to material things. Anadi ('^•fTf^), 'without beginning', means 

* The literal translation is this: "That which is the unevolved cause 
is emphatically called, by the most eminent sages, prad/idna, oriymil 
base, ichich is subtile prakriti, viz., that which is eternal, and which at 
once is and is not, or is mere process." 

The Sanskrit is in note 2 of this page. I cannot translate prakriti. 

t ■'' 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 21 

is resolved.* By that principle all things were in- 

' without birth ' (^»JJTr»sr) , not being engendered by any created 
thing, but proceeding immediately from the first cause. 'The 
mother', or, literally, 'the womb, of the world' (^«I^Vf%), 
means 'the passive agent in creation', operated on, or influenced, 
by the active will of the creator, f The first part of the passage 
in the text is a favourite one with several of the Puranas; but 
they modify it, and apply it after their own fashion. In the 
Vishnu, the original is: 

rendered as above. The Vayu, Brahmaiida, and Kurma Pu- 
ranas have : 

TTVT't "fflffTf %^ ^WT^^nqf^nT^: II : 

'The indiscrete cause, which is uniform, and both cause and 
effect, and whom those who are acquainted with first principles 
call Pradhana and Prakriti, is the uncognizable Brahma, who 
was before all ' : '^■f^%?i' ^^T^ ^W^fTtT I § But the application 
of two synonyms of Prakriti to Brahma seems unnecessary, at 
least. The Brahma P. corrects the reading, apparently: the first 
line is as before; the second is: 

* Prabhavdpyaya, "the place whence is the origination and into which 
is the resolution of all tJiings." So says the commentator, and rightly. 

Jayad-yoni, a little before, is scarcely so much "the mother of the 
world", or "the womb of the world", as "the material cause of the 
world," The commentator explains it by kdra/ia, "cause". 

f It may be generally remarked, with regard to these explanations of 
terms used in the text, and expounded by the Hindu commentator, that, 
had Professor Wilson enjoyed the advantages which are now at the 
command of the student of Indian philosophy, unquestionably he would 
here have expressed himself difterently. Thus, the reader will not find 
the "incongruity" and "inconsistency" complained of, if he bears in 
mind, that the text speaks of Brahma, not as putting forth evolutions, 
but as exhibiting diiferent aspects of itself. 

+ This is in the fourth chapter of the Vdyu-purdiia. 

§ Compare the Mdrkandeya-purd/ia, XLV. , 32 and Z-i. 


vested in the period subsequent to the last dissokition 

The passage is placed absolutely : ' There was an indiscrete 
cause, — eternal, and cause and effect, — which was both matter 
and spirit (Pradhana and Purusha), from which this world was 
made.' Instead of t^^^^, 'such' or 'this', some copies read 
"t^Xli, 'from which Iswara or god (the active deity or Brahma) 
made the world'. The Hari Varfisa has the same reading, except 
in the last term, which it makes |^^t^; that is, according to the 
commentator, ' the world, which is Iswara, was made.' The same 
authority explains this indiscrete cause, Avyaktakaraiia, to denote 
Brahma, 'the creator'; ff % f%f^ WWW ^IST^ ^4^dHI*i I 
an identification very unusual, if not inaccurate, and possibly 
founded oii misapprehension of what is stated by the BhavishyaP. : 

'That male or spirit which is endowed with that which is the 
indiscrete cause, &c. , is known, in the world, as Brahma: he, 
being in the egg', &c. The passage is precisely the same in 
Manu, I., 11.; except that we have ' Visrishta ' instead of 'Vi- 
sishtha'. The latter is a questionable reading, and is, probably, 
wrong ; the sense of the former is , ' detached ' : and the whole 
means, very consistently, 'embodied spirit detached from the 
indiscrete cause of the world, is known as Brahma'.* The Padma 
P. inserts the first line, ^^"3f, &c. , but has: 

Visrishta, the only reading recognized by KuUuka and Medhatithi, 
commentators on the Mdnava-dharma-Mstra, means, as explained by 
them, lUpddita, "produced" or "created". 

The Mdnava-dharma-idstra notably difiers from the Sankhya, in that 
it does not hold a duality of first principles. And still different are the 
Puranas, in which the dualistic principles are united in Brahma, and — 
as previously remarked — are not evolutions therefrom, but so many 
aspects of some supreme deity. See the Translator's first note in p. 15, 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 23 

of the universe, and prior to creation. ^ For Brahmans 
learned in the Vedas, and teaching truly their doc- 
trines, explain such passages as the following as in- 
tending the production of the chief principle (Pra- 
dhana). "There was neither day nor night, nor sky 
nor earth, nor darkness nor light, nor any other thing, 
save only One, unapprehensible by intellect, or That 
which is Brahma and Pums (spirit) and Pradhana 

'Which creates, undoubtedly, Mahat and the other qualities':* 
assigning the first epithets, therefore, as the Vishiiu does, to 
Prakfiti only. The Lingaf also refers the expression to Prakriti 
alone, but makes it a secondary cause: 

'An indiscrete cause, which those acquainted with first principles 
call Pradhana and Prakriti, proceeded from that Iswara (Siva).' 
This passage is one of very many instances in which expressions 
are common to several Puranas, that seem to be borrowed from 
one another, or from some common source older than any of 
them; especially in this instance, as the same text occurs in Manu. t 
^ The expression of the text is rather obscure : 'All was per- 
vaded (or comprehended) by that chief principle before (re-crea- 
tion), after the (last) destruction': 

%^^ ^rt^^WtlTTTf % iT^rai^ I 

The ellipses are filled up by the commentator. This, he adds, 
is to be regarded as the state of things at a Mahapralaya or 
total dissolution; leaving, therefore, crude matter, nature, or 
chaos, as a coexistent element with the Supreme. This, which 
is conformable to the philosophical doctrine, is not, however, 
that of the Puranas in general, nor that of our text, which states 

* Read: "Which creates all, from mahat to individual existences; 
such is the conchision of the scriptures." 
■}■ Prior Section, LXX., 2. 
+ See the editor's note in the preceding page. 


(matter).* The two forms which are other than 

(b. VI., c. 4), that, at a Prakrita or elementary dissolution, Pra- 
dhana itself merges into the deity.* Neither is it, apparently, 
the doctrine of the Vedas, although their language is somewhat 

' The metre here is one common to the Vedas, Trishtubh; 
but, in other respects, the language is not characteristic of those 
compositions. The purport of the passage is rendered somewhat 
doubtful by its close and by the explanation of the commen- 
tator. The former is: TT^ "RTVTf'T^ WW ^TrW^'TO^ I 'One 
Pradhanika Brahma Spirit: That, was.' The commentator 
explains Pradhanika, Pradhana eva, the same word as Pradhana; 
but it is a derivative word, which may be used attributively, 
implying 'having, or conjoined with, Pradhana'. The commen- 
tator, however, interprets it as the substantive; for he adds: 
'There was Pradhiina and Brahma and Spirit; this triad was at 
the period of dissolution': -R^^TR WW ^ ^TT^ftf W^^W fT^ 
'^W^ "^lltTlfi. 1 1 He evidently, however , understands their con- 
joint existence as one only; for he continues: 'So, according to 
the Vedas, then there was neither the non-existent cause nor the 
existent eifeet': cI^JTr ^ ^fTi: I Tre^"reW ^^T^^tT^T^^ 1 1 

The evohitionary doctrine is not the Pauranik; and the commentator — 
■who, on this occasion, does little more than supply ellipses, and does 
not call prakrid, "at a Mahapralaya", "a coexistent element with the 
Supreme" — advances nothing in contradiction to the tenor of the 
Piiraiias. See the editor's second note in p. 21, and note in p. 22, supra. 
-j- It is the abridged comment that is here cited. In the copy of it to 
which I have access, the passage extracted above begins: TTT^Tf^^ 
Tr\;i-R%W I inVTt^^ WW "^ I The fuller comment has : ITT^f^^ 

^f^ crflTfT: I 

t Thus opens a hymn of the Rig-veda; X., 129. See Colebrooke's 
Misccllnneous Essays, Vol. I., p. 33; Miiller's History of Ancient Sanskrit 
Literature, pp. 559 et seq.; and Goldstiicker's Fdnini, His Place in Sanskrit 
Literature, pp. 144 et seq. The Sanskrit of the hymn, accompanied by a 
new translation, will be found in Oriyinal Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., pp. 3 
and 4. 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 25 

the essence of immodified Vishnu are Pradhana (mat- 
ter) and Pnrusha (spirit) ; and his other form, by wliich 
those two are connected or separated, is called Kala 
(time).'"* When discrete substance is aggregated in crude 
nature, as in a foregone dissolution, that dissolution is 

meaning that there was only One Being, in whom matter and 
its modifications were all comprehended. 

' Or it might be rendered: 'Those two other forms (which 
proceed) from his supreme nature': f^Xl^Y* tfl^^mrMT^Tfl I that 
is, from the nature of Vishnu when he is Nirupadhi or without 
adventitious attributes: f'f^tJT^f^Xin^ : ^'^xr(c|^ I 'other' (^%); 
the commentator states they are other, or separate from Vishnu, 
only through Maya, 'illusion', but here implying 'false notion': 
the elements of creation being, in essence, one with Vishnu, 
though , in existence , detached and different. 

^mf^ ^Trff^ ^RT^RTSfTi: ii 

"There was neither day nor night, neither heaven nor earth, neither 
darkness nor Hght. And there was not aught else apprehensible by the 
senses or by the mental faculties. There was then, however, one Brahma, 
essentially prakriti and spirit. For the two aspects of Vishnu which are 
other than his supreme essential aspect are ■prahriti and spirit, Brah- 
man. When these two other aspects of his no longer subsist, hit are 
dissolved, then that aspect whence form and the rest, i. e., creation, pro- 
ceed anew is denominated time, twice-born." 

See the editor's iirst note in p. 18, supra. 

I have carried forward the inverted commas by which Professor Wilson 
indicated the end of the quotation. There can be no ijuestion that it 
embraces two stanzas. They are in the trisht'ubh metre, and are preceded 
and followed by verses iu the anusht'ubh. 


termed elemental (Prakrita). The deity as Time is with- 
out beginning, and his end is not known; and from him 
the revolutions of creation, continuance, and dissolu- 
tion unintermittingly succeed:* for, when, in the latter 
season, the equilibrium of the qualities (Pradhana) 
exists, and spirit (Pums) is detached from matter, 
then the form of Vishnu which is Time abides. ^ Then 

' Pradhana, when unmodified, is, according to the Sankhyas 
and Paurariiks, nothing more than the three qualities f in equili- 
brio; or goodness, foulness, and darkness neutralizing each other; 
(Sankhya Karika , p. 52). So in the Matsya P. : 

This state is synonymous with the non-evolution of material pro- 
ducts, or with dissolution ; implying, however, separate existence, 
and detached from spirit. This being the case, it is asked. What 
should sustain matter and spirit whilst separate, or renew their 
combination so as to renovate creation? It is answered. Time, 
which is when everything else is not, and which, at the end of 
a certain interval, unites Matter (Pradhana) and Purusha, and 

We here have a reference, apparently, to four — not simply to three — 
conditions of things, the last of which, sainyama, "delitescence", denotes 
the state that prevails during the nights of Brahma , when all concrete 
forms are resolved into their original elements. The word has occurred 
before: see p. 11, supra. Also see the MdrkaMeya-pvrdna, XL VI., 7. 

The commentator, at first, takes sainyama — i. e., he says, samhdra — 
for the third condition, qualified by anta = ante, "at last". Alternati- 
vely, he makes anta the third of the conditions, and governs the names 
of all three by sainyamdli, in the sense of niyamdK. For niyama, in 
place of sainyama, in a classification similar to that of the text, see 
Sankara Acharya's Commentary on the Swetdiwatara Upanishad : Biblio- 
theca Indica, Vol. VII., pp. 275 and 276. 

-}• On rendering the Sankhya or Pauranik (juim., as here meant, by 
"quality", see my translation of Pandit Nehemiah Nilakaiifha Sastrin's 
Rational Refutation of the Hindu Philosophical Systems, pp. 43 and 44, 
foot-note, and pp. 219 et seg., foot-note. 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 27 

the supreme Brahma, the supreme soul, the substance 
of the world,* the lord of all creatures, the universal 
soul, the supreme ruler, Hari, of his own will having 
entered into matter and spirit, agitated the mutable 
and immutable principles, the season of creation being 
arrived. In the same manner as fragrance aftects the 
mind from its proximity merely, and not from any 
immediate operation upon mind itself, so the Supreme 
influenced the elements of creation. ^ Purushottama 

produces creation. Conceptions of this kind are evidently com- 
prised in the Orphic triad, or the ancient notion of the coopera- 
tion of three such principles, in creation, as Phanes or Eros, 
which is the Hindu spirit or Purusha; Chaos, matter or Pra- 
dhana; and Chronos, or Kala, time. 

' Pradhcina is styled Vyaya (^'^), 'that which may be ex- 
pended' :f or Parinamin ("TfTTIITf'r'l.); 'which may be modified': 
and Purusha is called Avyaya ('^oSJ'^), 'inconsumable', or 
apaririamin (■^STCrfT*'! ll^*!,)? 'immutable'. The expressions 
llf%r^, 'having entered into', and ^^i^^fl^, 'agitated', recall 
the mode in which divine intelligence, mens, vovg, was con- 
ceived , by the ancients , to operate upon matter : 

0Qrjv ... rpQovTi'ai xno/iinv anavra , 
. . . . xaiatooovoa ^or^oiv; 
or as in a more familiar passage: 

Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus, 
Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet: 
or, perhaps, it more closely approximates to the Phoenician cos- 
mogony, in which a spirit, mixing with its own principles, gives 
rise to creation. Brucker, I., 240. As presently explained, the 
mixture is not mechanical; it is an influence or effect exerted 
upon intermediate agents which produce effects; as perfumes do 
not delight the mind by actual contact, but by the impression 

* Supply "all-permeant" sarvaga. 

t "Passing away", or "perishable", is more literal. 


is both the agitator and the thing to be agitated; being 
present in the essence of matter, both when it is con- 

they make upon the sense of smelling, which communicates it to 
the mind. The entrance of the supreme Vishnu into spirit, as 
well as matter, is less intelligible than the view elsewhere taken 
of it, as the infusion of spirit, identified with the Supreme, into 
Prakriti or matter alone. Thus, in the Padma Parana:* 

'He who is called the male (spirit) of Prakriti is here named 
Achyuta; and that same divine Vishnu entered into Prakriti.' 
So the Brihan Naradi'ya: 

'The lord of the world, who is called Purusha, producing agi- 
tation in Prakriti.' From the notion of influence or agitation 
produced on matter through or with spirit, the abuse of personi- 
fication led to actual or vicarious admixture. Thus , the Bhtiga- 
vata, identifying Maya with Prakriti, has: 

'Through the operation of time, the Mighty One, who is present 
to the pure, implanted a seed in Maya endowed with qualities, 
as Purusha, which is one with himself.' f B. III., s. 5. And the 
Bhavishya: 'Some learned men say, that the supreme being, 
desirous to create beings , creates , in the commencement of the 
Kalpa, a body of soul (or an incorporeal substance); which soul, 
created by him, enters into Prakriti; and Prakriti, being thereby 
agitated, creates many material elements': 

•^^ %^ ?T^HI^ TT^^I^ 'TTjftt^Wi I 

* Uttara-kaiida, XXXIV. 

f Burnouf — Vol. I., p. 176 — has: "Lorsque Taction du temps eut deve- 
loppe an sein de Maya les qualitcs, Adhokchaja, done de vigueur, se 
luanifestant sous la forme de Purucha , deposa en elle sa semence.'' 

For Adhokshaja, see Goldstiicker's Sanskrit Dictionary, sub voce: also 
Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., pp. 182 and 183. 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 29 

tracted and expanded.^ Vishnu, supreme over the 
supreme, is of the nature of discrete forms in the 
atomic productions, Brahma and the rest (gods, 
men, &c.). 

Then from that equilibrium of the quahties (Pra- 
dhana), presided over by soul,^ proceeds the unequal 
development of those qualities (constituting the prin- 
ciple Mahat or Intellect) at the time of creation.^ The 

But these may be regarded as notions of a later date. In the 
Mahabharata, the first cause is declared to be 'Intellectual', who 
creates by his mind or will: 

44M^1 ^HH ^ff ^fi f^^tfr % T^f^fn: I 

'The first (being) is called Miinasa (intellectual), and is so 
celebrated by great sages: he is god, without beginning or end, 
indivisible, immortal, undecaying.' And again: 

TT^Tf^^ f^t^^ W[^m\ 'T^^ S^rl I 
' The Intellectual created many kinds of creatures by his mind.' 

' Contraction, Sankocha (^e^'^), is explained by Samya 
(4J|4^), sameness or equilibrium of the three qualities, or inert 
Pradhana; and Expansion, Vikasa (f^cRT'Sj), is the destruction 
of this equipoise, by previous agitation and consequent develop- 
ment of material products. 

- The term here is Kshetrajna, 'embodied spirit', or that 
which knows the Kshetra or 'body'; implying the combination 
of spirit with form or matter, for the purpose of creating. 

^ The first product of Pradhana, sensible to divine, though 
not to mere human, organs, is, both according to the Sankhya 
and Pauranik doctrines, the principle called Mahat, literally, 'the 
Great'; explained in other places, as in our text, 'the production 
of the manifestation of the qualities': ITJl^^^^^jfTT I or, as 
in the Vayu: 


Chief principle then invests that Great principle, In- 
tellect; and it becomes threefold, as affected by the 
quality of goodness, foulness, or darkness, and invested 

We have, in the same Furaiia, as well as in the Brahmanda and 
Linga, a number of synonyms for this term, as: 

* This stanza occurs in the fourth chapter of the Vdyu-purdna. Im- 
mediately following it are these deiiuitions , which Professor Wilson has 
translated -. 

W^wr ^pFfm^ ^irt^fTT cTfT: ^w: ii 
5^^'m^'«n%^ 'TRTt Tfrr: ^tt: ii 

fHsr^TRt^ t%'2Tflt#'T ^frf^ ^^"^ Ii 

fsm 5^^^T^ ^m^Tf^^mff ?TT^ i 
WT^>ir^ %^ %^ ^^^^ II 

^^ ^-Rf^Hwr^^ 'snt^tTt^T ^ff: ii 

^T^ rT^WfxT ^^Tf^T^^^: I 
fT^TW WfT: ^fwr ^Tf7rfT^twN% II 
^T^Tc^f f^^"RTf?T ^fTWT "^T %^T^ I 

^^rr^rrrr^[^ %^ ir^ "^ ^ ^5^ ii 
^^T^f^ ^ ^mfw ^^^^?f^rrf^ ^ I 
f^'TtffT ^SI^T^^^ %^T^> f%f?r w^ II 

^X:^ ^^T^TfW %^TT^^ ^fTTT^m II 
iK^ ^ f^^% '^'f ^ST^T^T^IrW^JTlH I 
TT^nfl[^^|f ^ ^fTf^Wf*!^^^^ II 

BOOK I., CHAP. ir. 31 

by the Chief principle (matter), as seed is by its skin. 

They are also explained, though not very distinctly, to the 
following purport : " Manas is that which considers the conse- 

^■RT^TTfTT^Tf ^T^^T'WR^t^rf^: I 
li^TT f^g^^-R t^^t "fft^^ f^: II 

^^•=(^1^ ^ffr WIT ^^T^T^ ^^% II 

%^ ^ t! r^ -sjiTi^^TW ^^: ^ct: I 

^^Tf^^^% '^ fT^T(^^ "T^ II 

TT^'^TR^: ^^^t^^^^tRTO: II 

According to Vijnana Bhikshu, at least the first half of the stanza of 
synonyms, quoted by Professor Wilson, is in the 3Iatsya-purdna as well 
as in the Vdyu. See my edition of the Sdnkluja-pravachana-bhdsluja — 
published in the Bibliotheca Indica — , p. 117. 

The Ling.a-purdna, Prior Section, LXX., 12 et seq., differs from the Vdyu 
in having bralima and chit-para or viiwesa instead of hrahmd and vipura. 
Its explanations of the terms also present several deviations. For g^»^|«n 
&c., in definition of vipura, it gives: 

or, agreeably to another reading: 

With nothing correspondent to the next two stanzas and a half of the 
Vdyu, it then passes at once to the line beginning with Xf^X^cj | x| c(i ', . 
In the same Puraiia, Prior Section, VIII., 67 — 74, we read : 

wrf?T: ^fwrm: xrgi^^Tr ^tw^w '^ ii 
l^xm: f^i: ¥^ ^frr: TrfT^-^mrn: i 
^^T ^: iwT^^ inxnT^^ f^srfTT ii 

^TfR^nw^IT 3r^ TT^^ Tr^% ^ci: i 
^^w^T^f T^TW WW wwfw^ wtt: II 

^n!w ^iTr^ftr: ^ ^rfw| tw^*^ ^ct: ii 


From the great principle (Mahat) Intellect, threefold 

quences of acts to all creatures, and provides for their happiness. 
Mahat, the Great principle, is so termed from being the first of 
the created principles, and from its extension being greater than 
that of the rest. Mati is that which discriminates and distinguishes 
objects preparatory to their fruition by Soul. Brahma implies 
that which effects the development and augmentation of created 
things. Pur is that by which the concurrence of nature occujjies 
and fills all bodies. Buddhi is that which communicates to soul 
the knowledge of good and evil. Khyuti is the means of indi- 
vidual fruition, or the faculty of discriminating objects by appro- 
priate designations and the like. Lswara is that which knows 
all things as if they were present. Prajna. is that by which the 
properties of things are known. Chiti is that by which the con- 
sequences of acts and species of knowledge are selected for the 
use of soul. Smi'iti is the faculty of recognizing all things, past, 
present, or to come. Sarhvid is that in which all things are 
found or known, and which is found or known in all things: and 
Vipura is that which is free from the effects of contrarieties, as 
of knowledge and ignorance, and the like. Mahat is also called 
Isvvara, from its exercising supremacy over all things; Bhava, 
from its elementary existence; Eka, or 'the one', from its single- 
ness; Purusha, from its abiding within the body; and, from its 
being ungenerated, it is called Swayambhu."* Now, in this 

^^^tv^% ^w f ^^ fflr^^% II 

^^T ^: TRTT^^ ITIUII'MlJi^ t^^rf^ I 

<[tTrf^f^t%<^^'r^TWT^Tm^^^ -CRft II 

The terms thus enumerated and elucidated — tn'swcrrrt, mahat, prajna, 
manas, hrahma, chiti, smriti, khijdti, samvid, iiwnra, and inati — belong, 
as they here stand, to the Yoga philosophy. 

* The reader will be able to verify this translation by the original 
given at the beginning of the last note. Brahma — which comes between 
Uioara and bhdva — was overlooked. Further, for "Eka" read saka, meaning 
the same thing, "one." 

BOOK 1., CHAP. ir. 33 

Egotism, (Ahamkara)/ denominated Vaikarika, 'pure': 
Taijasa, 'passionate'; andBhiitadi, 'rudimentalV' is pro- 
nomenclature we have chiefly two sets of words; one, as Manas, 
Buddhi , Mati, signifying mind, intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, 
design; and the other, as Brahma, Iswara, &c. , denoting an 
active creator and ruler of the universe : as the Vayu adds, 

'Mahat, impelled by the desire to create, causes various creation' : 
and the Mahabharata has: ?T^T»^W^T'f «RTT^ I 'Mahat created 
Ahaiiikara.' The Puranas generally employ the same expression, 
attributing to Mahat or Intelligence the act of creating. Mahat 
is, therefore, the divine mind in creative operation, the voug o 
diay.naj.icov xi xai rcuviiov aYzing of Anaxagoras ; 'an ordering 
and disposing mind, which was the cause of all things.' The 
word itself suggests some relationship to the Phoenician Mot, 
which, like Mahat, was the first product of the mixture of spirit 
and matter, and the first rudiment of creation: "Ex connexione 
autem ejus spiritus prodiit Mot . . . Hinc * * seminium omnis crea- 
tura3 et omnium rerum creatio." Brucker, I., 240. Mot, it is 
true, appears to be a purely material substance; whilst Mahat is 
an incorporeal f substance: but they agree in their place in the 
cosmogony, and are something alike in name. How far, also, 
the Phoenician system has been accurately described, is matter 
of uncertainty. See Sankhya Karika, p. 83. 

' The sense of Ahaiiikara cannot be very well rendered by any 
European term. It means the principle of individual existence, 
that which appropriates perceptions , and on which depend the 
notions, I think, I feel, I am. t It might be expressed by the pro- 
position of Descartes reversed; "Sum, ergo cogito, sentio", &c. 

* In strict literality, "origin of the elements." See my edition of the 
Sunkhya-sdra — in the Bihliotheca Indica — , Preface, p. 31, foot-note. 

t See, however, the Sankliya- pravachana, I., 61; and the Sdnkhya- 
kdrikd, XXII. 

+ But see the discussion of the distinction between ahamkdra and 
abhimdna in Goldstiiclier's Sanskrit Dictionary, p, 257. 

I. 3 


cluced; the origin of the (subtile) elements, and of the 
organs of sense; invested, in consequence of its three 
qualities, by Intellect, as Intellect is by the Chief prin- 
ciple.^ Elementary Egotism, then becoming productive, 
as the rudiment of sound, produced from it Ether, * of 
which sound is the characteristic, investing it with its 
rudiment of sound, f Ether, becoming productive, en- 

The equivalent employed by Mr. Colebrooke, egotism, has the 
advantage of an analogous etymology; Alian'ikara being derived 
from Ahan'i (^^)i 'I'; as in the Hari Van'isa: 

'He (Brahma), O Bhtirata, said, / will create creatui-es.' See also 
S. Ktirika, p. 91. 

- These three varieties of Ahau'ikara are also described in the 
Sankhya Karika, p. 92. Vaikarika, that which is productive, or 
susceptible of production, is the same as the Sattwika, or that 
which is combined with the property of goodness. Taijasa 
Ahariikara is that which is endowed with Tejas, 'heat' or 'energy', 
in consequence of its having the property of Rajas , 'passion' or 
'activity'; and the third kind, Khi'itadi , or 'elementary' , is the 
Tamasa, or has the property of darkness. From the first kind 
proceed the senses; from the last, the rndimental unconscious 
elements; both kinds, which are equally of themselves inert, being 

* "A characterization of dkdsa will serve to show how inadequatively 
it is represented by 'ether'. In dimension, it is, as has heen said, in- 
finite; it is not made up of parts; and colour, taste, smell, and tangi- 
bility do not appertain to it. So far forth it corresponds exactly to time, 
.space, Iswara, and soul. Its speciality, as compared therewith, consists 
in its being the material cause of sound. Except for its being so, we 
might take it to be one with vacuity." Rational Refutation, &c., p. 120. 

"In Hindu opinion, the 'ether' is always essentially colourless and 
pure, and only from error is supposed to possess hue. * * The ignorant, 
it is said, think the blueness of the sky to be the befoulment of 'ether'." 
Ihid., p. 272. 

t On the translation of this and subsecpient passages, see the Sdnk/tya- 
sdra, Preface, p. 33, foot-note. 

BOOK I., CHAP. ir. 85 

gendered the radinient of touch; whence origmated 
strong wind, the property of which is touch; andEther, 
with the rudiment of sound, enveloped the rudiment 
of touch. Then wind, becoming productive, produced 
the rudiment of form (colour); whence light (or fire) 
proceeded, of which, form (colour) is the attribute; 
and the rudiment of touch enveloped the wind with 
the rudiment of colour. Light, becoming productive, 
produced the rudiment of taste; whence proceed all 
juices in which flavour resides; and the rudiment of 
colour invested the juices with the rudiment of taste. 
The waters, becoming productive, engendered the rudi- 
ment of smell; whence an aggregate (earth) originates, 
of which smell is the property. ^ In each several ele- 

rendeved productive by the cooperation of the second, the energetic 
or active modification of Ahamkara, which is, therefore, said to 
be the origin of both the senses and the elements. * 

' The successive series of rudiments and elements, and their 
respectively engendering the rudiments and elements next in order, 
occur in most of the Punii'ias, in nearly the same words. The 
Bfihan Naradiya P. observes : 

'They (the elements) in successive order acquire the property of 
causality one to the other.' The order is also the same ; or, 

* Ahamkara, "the conception of 1', has a preponderance either of 
sattwa, "pure quietude", or of rajas, "activity", or of tamas, "stagnancy". 
The first species, as likewise the third, becomes productive, when assisted 
by the second. Such is the genuine Sankhya doctrine. In the Pnrauas, 
the second, besides serving as an auxiliary to production, of itself pro- 
duces; since therefrom arise live "intellectual organs" and five "organs 
of action." These organs, with manas, "the organ of imagination", are 
derived, in the unmodified Sankhya, from the first species of aliai'iikdra. 
See, for additional details, the Sdnk/uja-sdra, Preface, pp. 30 et sey., 


ment resides its peculiar rudiment; thence the property 

ethei* (Akasa), wind or air (Vayu), fire or light (Tejas), water and 
earth; except in one passage of the Mahabharata (MokshaDharnia, 
c. 9), where it is ether, water, fire, air, earth,* The order of 
Enipedocles was : ether, fire, earth, water, air. Cudworth, I., 97. 
The investment (Avarana) of each element by its own rudiment, 
and of each rudiment by its preceding gross and rudimental ele- 
ments, is also met with in most of the chief Puraiias, as the Vayu, 
Padma, Linga, and Bhagavata ; and traces of it are found amongst 
the ancient cosmogonists; for Anaxiniander supposed that, 'when 
the world was made, a certain sphere or flame of fire, separated 
from matter (the Infinite), encompassed the air, which invested 
the earth as the bark does a tree': Kara Tijv ytvaoiv Tovde 
Tov x6of.inv anoitQi^rjvai, xai xiva ix rnvzov rpkoyog ocfal- 
Qttv iiEQKpvrjVttL T(7) nsQL TtjV yr^v aeQi , (.og xoi devdQw cpXoLov. 
Euseb., Pr., I., 15. Some of the Purai'ias, as the Matsya, V/iyu, 
Linga, Bhagavata, and Markaiideya, add a description of a 
participation of properties amongst the elements, which is rather 
Vedtinta than Sankhya. According to this notion, the elements 
add to their characteristic properties those of the elements which 
precede them. Akasa has the single property of sound: air has 
those of touch and sound: fire has colour, touch, and sound: 
water has taste, colour, touch, and sound: and earth has smell 
and the rest, thus having five properties: or, as the Linga P.f 
describes the seiies : 

f^^^ rTff^^f^: ^ ^^^^tj^T'l II 

' For a related comment, see Goldstiicker's Sanskrit Dictionary, 
pp. 155 and 156, sub voce ^Sn^. 
t Prior Section, LXX., 43—47. 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 37 

of tanmatrata* (type or rudiment) is ascribed to these 
elements. Rudimental elements are not endowed with 
qualities; and therefore they are neither soothing, nor 
terrific, nor stupefying.^* This is the elemental creation, 
proceeding from the principle of egotism affected by 

-^w^i i^^^rRTir ^Tf^^^ ?Tftf^fl"R: II 

^T^T ^TT^ ^^T^'^f^^^T%^ "% ^ffT: II 

' Tannicitra, 'rudiment'' or 'type', from Tad (rf^), 'that', for 
Tasmin (rrf%?»l.), 'in that' gross element, and matra (^■^), 
'subtile or rudimental form' (^T"^ ^^ ^MH)-t The rudiments 
are also the characteristic properties of the elements : as the 

'The rudiment of it (ether) is also its quality, sound ;t as a com- 
mon designation may denote both a person who sees an object, 
and the object which is to be seen': that is, according to the 
commentator, suppose a person behind a wall called aloud, "An 
elephant! an elephant!" the term would equally indicate that an 
elephant was visible, and that somebody saw it. Bhag., II., 5, 25. 
' The properties here alluded to are not those of goodness, 
&c. , but other properties § assigned to perceptible objects by the 
Sankhya doctrines; or Santi (^jf^)? 'placidity', Ghorata (^"^cfT), 
'terror', and Moha (^t^)? 'dulness' or 'stupefaction'. S. Karika, 
V. 38, p. 119. ;| 

* 'Sdnta, ghora, mxldha; "placid, commoved, torpid." Probably ghora 
is connected with ghurn, "to whirl." 

f With greater likelihood, tan-mdtra, "merely transcendental", is 
from tanu and indtra, the latter considered as an affix; the u of tanii, 
being elided, as it is, for instance, in tanmaK for taniima/i, and in similar 
conjugational forms of the fifth and eighth classes. 

I Rather: "Sound is its rudiment and also its quality." 

§ "Goodness, &c." are causes; the "other properties", effects. 

II And see the Sdnkhija-pravachana, III., 1. 


the property of darkness. The organs of sense are 
said to be the passionate products of the same prin- 
ciple, affected by fouhiess; and the ten divinities^ pro- 
ceed from egotism affected by the principle of good- 
ness; as does Mind, which is the eleventh. The organs 
of sense are ten : of the ten, five are the skin, eye, nose, 
tongue, and ear; the object of which, combined with 
Intellect, is the apprehension of sound and the rest: 
the organs of excretion and procreation, the hands, 
the feet, and the voice, form the other five; of which 
excretion , generation , manipulation , motion , and 
speaking are the several acts. 

Then, ether, air, light, water, and earth, severally 
united with the properties of sound and the rest, existed 
as distinguishable according to their qualities, as 
soothing, terrific, or stupefying; but, possessing various 
energies and being unconnected, they could not, without 
combination, create living beings, not having blended 
with each other. Having combined, therefore, mth 
one another, they assumed, through their mutual asso- 
ciation, the character of one mass of entire unity ; and, 
from the direction of spirit, with the acquiescence of 
the indiscrete Principle,^ Intellect and the rest, to the 

' The Bhiigavata, which gives a similar statement of the 
origin of the elements, senses, and divinities, specifies the last to 
be Dis (space), air, the sun, Prachetas, the Aswins, fire, Indra, 
Upendra, Mitra, and Ka or Prajapati, presiding over the senses, 
according to the comment, or, severally, over the ear, skin, eye, 
tongue, nose, speech, hands, feet, and excretory and generative 
organs. Bhag., II., 5, 31. 

' Avyaktanugrahena(^^'^T*T^'%X!r)- t'he expression is some- 
thing equivocal 5 as Avyakta may here apply either to the First 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 89 

gross elements inclusive, formed an egg/ which gra- 
dually expanded like a bubble of water. This vast 
egg, sage, compounded of the elements, and resting 
on the waters, was the excellentnatural abode ofVishhu 
in the form of Brahma; and there Vishnu, the lord of 
the universe, whose essence is inscrutable, assumed a 
perceptible form; and even he himself abided in it, in 

Cause or to matter. In either case, the notion is the same ; and 
the aggregation of the elements is the effect of the presidence of 
spirit, without any active interference of the indiscrete principle. 
The Avyakta is passive, in the evolution and combination of 
Mahat and the rest. Pradhana is, no doubt, intended; but its 
identification with the Supreme is also implied. The terra Anu- 
graha may also refer to a classification of the order of creation, 
which will be again adverted to. 

' It is impossible not to refer this notion to the same origin 
as the widely diffused opinion of antiquity , of the first mani- 
festation of the world in the form of an egg. "It seems to have 
been a favourite symbol, and very ancient; and we find it adopted 
among many nations". Bryant, III., 165. Traces of it occur 
amongst the Syrians , Persians , and Egyptians ; and , besides the 
Orphic egg amongst the Greeks, and that described by Aristo- 
phanes, Tiy.xei TCQconocov v7i}jvcuiov vvt rj /.i£'/MV(mT£()og wov, 
part of the ceremony in the Dionysiaca and other mysteries con- 
sisted of the consecration of an egg; by which, according to 
Porphyry, was signified the world: 'Ei)fj.t]r£v£L de to tobv rov 
noof.iov. Whether this egg typified the ark, as Bryant and Faber 
suppose, is not material to the proof of the anticjuity and wide 
diffusion of the belief, that the world, in the beginning, existed 
in such a figure. A similar account of the first aggregation of 
the elements in the form of an egg is given in all the Purarias, 
with the usual epithet Haima or Hiranya, 'golden', as it occurs 
in Manu. , I, 9. 


the character of Brahma/ Its womb, vast as the 
mountain Meru, was composed of the mountains;* and 
the mighty oceans were the waters that filled its cavity. 
In that egg, Brahman, were the continents and seas 
and mountains, the planets and divisions of the uni- 
verse, the gods, the demons, and mankind. And this 
egg was externally invested by seven natural enve- 
lopes; or by water, air, fire, ether, and Ahamkara,f the 
origin of the elements, each tenfold the extent of that 
which it invested; next came the principle of Intelli- 
gence; and, finally, the whole was surrounded by the 
indiscrete Principle: resembling, thus, the cocoa-nut, 
filled interiorly with pulp, and exteriorly covered by 
husk and rind, t 

' Here is another analogy to the doctrines of antiquity re- 
lating to the mundane egg: and, as the first visible male being, 
who, as we shall hereafter see, united in himself the nature of 
either sex, abode in the egg, and issued from it; so "this first- 
born of the world, whom they represented under two shapes and 
characters, and who sprang from the mundane egg, was the 
person from whom the mortals and immortals were derived. He 
was the same as Dionysus, whom they styled, TrQCOToynvov 
difpvrj TQi'ynrnv Baxyslnr Avaxiu lAyQiov aQQi^rnv XQirpiov 
dixtQwra diftoQffnv:'''' or, with the omission of one epithet, 

* The reading of many MSS. and of the commentator, and that which 
seems to claim the preference, is : 

"Meru was its amnion, and the ot/ier mountains ireix' its chorion." 
f The word aliaihkdra is supplied to the original by the translator. 

The commentary is silent. 

+ A new translation of this entire paragraph and of the first sentence 

of the next will be seen in Original Sanskrit Te.vti<, P;'.rt IV., pp. 34 

and 3o. 

BOOK I., CHAP. II. 41 

Affecting then the quahty of activity, Hari, the lord of 
all, himself becoming Brahma, engaged in the creation 
of the universe. Vishnu, with the quality of goodness, 
and of immeasurable power, preserves created things 
through successive ages, until the close of the period 
termed a Kalpa; when the same mighty deity, Janar- 
dana,^ invested with the quality of darkness, assumes 
the awful form of Rudra, and swallows up the universe. 
Having thus devoured all things, and converted the 
M'orld into one vast ocean , the Supreme reposes upon 
his mighty serpent-couch amidst the deep: he awakes 
after a season, and, again, as Brahma, becomes the author 
of creation. '■■ 

Thus the one only god, Janardana, takes the desig- 
nation of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, accordingly as he 
creates, preserves, or destroys.^ Vishnu, as creator, 

' Jaiuirdaiia is derived from Jana (^^«rV 'men'', and Ardana 
(■^^•T),! 'worship'; 'the object of adoration to mankind'. 

' This is the invariable doctrine of the Purarias, diversified 
only according to the individual divinity to whom they ascribe 
identity with Paramatman or Parameswara. In our text, this is 

* Almost the whole of this chapter and of the next occurs , often 
nearly word for word, in the Mdrkandeya-ptirdna, XLV. et se<j. 

t '^T^T signifies "solicitation". But there are preferable derivations 
of Janardana. For instance, Sankara Acharya, in his gloss on the thou- 
sand names of Vishnu enumerated in the Anuidsana-parvan of the Ma- 
hd/>/idra(a, takes its constituent Jana, "people", to stand for "the wicked", 
and interprets ardana. by "chastiser or extirpator". His words, in part, 
are : ^•TT'^^'TT'T^'^'nT f^TT^ I According to the lyaJidbhdrata UseU, 
in another place, Vasudeva is called Janardana because of bis striking 
terror into the Dasyus, See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., pp. 182 
and 183. 


creates himself; as preserver, preserves himself; as 
destroyer, destroys himself at the end of all things. 
This world of earth, air, fire, water, ether, the senses, 
and the mind; all that is termed spirit;^ — that also is the 
lord of all elements, the universal form,^ and imperish- 
able. Hence he is the cause of creation, preservation, 
and destruction; and the subject of the vicissitudes 
inherent in elementary nature. He is the object and 

Vishnu; in the Saiva Puranas, as in the Linga, it is Siva; in 
the Brahma Vaivarta, it is Krishna. The identification of one 
of the hypostases with the common source of the triad was an 
incongruity not unknown to other theogonies: for Cneph, amongst 
the Egyptians, appears, on the one hand, to have been identified 
with the supreme being, the indivisible unity; whilst, on the 
other, he is confounded with both Emeph and Ptha, the second 
and third persons of the triad of hypostases. Cudworth, I., 4. 18. 
' ' The world that is termed spirit ' ; " M4^m4^' f^ i(^3|r(^ | 
explained, by the commentator, tj'^^^^fl'^ I 'which, indeed, 
bears the appellation spirit' ; conformably to the text of the 
Vedas, gx^ "51%^ ^T^'^ I 'this universe is, indeed, spirit', f This 
is rather Vedanta than Sankhya, and appears to deny the existence 
of matter. And so it does, as an independent existence; for the 
origin and end of infinite substance is the deity or universal 
spirit: but it does not therefore imply the non-existence of the 
world as real substance. 

■^ Vishnu is both Bhutesa (^J^lfO' '^^^"^^ ^^ the elements', 
or of created things, and Viswanipa (f^^'^JI \) , 'universal 
substance '.t He is, therefore, as one with sensible things, sub- 
ject to his own control. 

* Rather: "That which is termed spirit is the world." 

+ See Colebrooke's Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. I., p. 47. 

: The commentary has : ^ TJ^ ^^^MI+TtlT • "ff^f^Ifn I f^- 

■g^xrg I Tnft ^g f^^3"^Tf^^ f^rW; l VUwaniyaK, an adjective 

in the masculine, means "omniform". 

BOOK I., ciiAi'. ir. 43 

author of creation : he preserves, destroys, and is pre- 
served. He, Vishnu, as Brahma, and as all other beings, 
is infinite form. He is the Supreme, the giver of all 
good, the fountain of all happiness. ^ 

' Varenya (^X]'!?!;), 'most excellent'; being the same, ac- 
cording to the commentator," with supreme felicity: 'Cl'^^T'T''^^- 

• He writes: ■^'T:?rr ^T^"'^^^ ^ ^T'TT^^^^M^cl ^ I '' Varemja, 
i. (?., 'of a form to be elected', on account of his being, essentially, 
supreme felicity." 


Measure of time. Moments or Kashthas, &c. ; day and night; 
fortnight, month, year, divine year: Yugas or ages: Mahay uga 
or great age: day of Brahma: periods of the Manus : a Man- 
wantara: night of Brahma and destruction of the world: a year 
of Brahma: liis life: a Kalpa: a Parardha: the past or Padma 
Kalpa: the present or Varaha. 

Maitreya. — How can creative agency be attributed 
to that Brahma who is without quaUties, illimitable, 
pure, and free from imperfection? 

Parasaea. — The essential properties of existent 
things are objects of observation, of which no fore- 
knowledge is attainable: and creation and hundreds of 
properties belong to Brahma,"'"' as inseparable parts of 
his essence ; as heat, chief of sages, is inherent in lire.^ 

' Agency depends upon the Rajo-guiia, the quality of foulness 
or passion, which is an imperfection. Perfect being is void of 
all qualities, and is, therefore, inert : 

Omnis enini per se divoiu uatura necesse est 

Immortali sevo summa cum pace fruatur. 
But, if inert for ever, creation could not occur. The objection is 
rather evaded than answered. The ascribing to Brahma of in- 
numerable and unappreciable properties is supported, by the com- 

"Seeing that the potencies of all existences are understood only through 
the knowledge of that — /. e. , Brahma — which is beyoud reasoning, 
creation and the like, i^iich potencies of existences, are referrible to 
Brahnui", l^c. 

Professor Wilson preferred ljfj"3ft to ^r\\ ,£(ft I 


Hear, then, how the deity Narayaiia, in the person of 
Brahma, the great parent of the world, created all 
existent things. 

nientator, with vague and scarcely applicable texts of the Yedas. 
'In him there is neither instrument nor effect: his like, his supe- 
rior, is nowhere seen:' 

'That supreme soul is the subjugator of all, the ruler of all, the 
sovereign of all': ^ ^T^^T(3n I ^^ "^^ ^W^TT'T: ^^- 
T^JXf^'TfJT • I" Ii^ various places of the Vedas, also, it is said that 
his power is supreme, and that wisdom, power, and action are 
his essential properties: 

^T»^Tf^^ ^T^^^f^^ ^ II t 

The origin of creation is also imputed , in the Vedas, to the rise 
of will or desire in the Supreme : ^ vJcfiT^T^rT ^^ ^TT IT^T^^I + 
'He wished, I may become manifold, I may create creatures.' 
The Bhjigavata expresses the same doctrine: 'The supreme being 
was before all things alone, the soul and lord of spiritual sub- 
stance. In consecjuence of his own will, he is secondarily defined, 
as if of various minds' : 

^^WT%^ ^rr%^?T^ ^TSITciT^t f^^ : I 

* Satapatha-brdhmai'ia, XIV., 7, 2, 24. Compare the BHhad-dranyaka 
IJpanishad, IV., 4, 22. 

t These verses are continuous with those above, beginning with Vf cT^- 
They are from the Swetdiwatara Upanishad, VI., 8. 

* See the Satapat/ia-hrdhmai'ia, XI., 5, 8, 1. The C/thdndogya Upa- 
nishad, p. 398, has: TT^^rT ^^ '^t TT^T^^ I 

The quotations thus far in Professor Wilson's note are taken from the 
commentary, which gives no precise chie lo their derivation. 

§ Bhdyavata-puru/ia, III., 5, 23. The second line may mean: "8oul — 
i.e., Bliayavat, Brahma, or the Absolute — , when it follows its own desire, 
implies a variety of conceptions." 


Brahma is said to be born : a familiar phrase, to sig- 
nify his manifestation; and, as the pecuhar measure 
of his presence, a hundred of his years is said to con- 
stitute his hfe. That period is also called Para, and the 

This will, however, in the mysticism of the Bhagavata, is per- 
sonified as Maya: 

w^ ^T T^^ ^^^: ^tii: ^^^f^^ I 
^rnn wm ^fPfPT ^5T^ fTR^ t%^: II * 

'She (that desire) was the energy of flie Supreme, who was 
contemplating (the uncreated world); and, by her, whose name is 
Maya, the loi'd made tlie universe.' This, which was, at first, a 
mere poetical personification of the divine will, came, in such 
works as the Bhagavata, to denote a female divinity, coequal 
and coeternal with the First Cause. It may be doubted if the 
Yedas authorize such a mystification; and no very decided vestige 
of it occurs in the Vishnu Puraiia. 

Burnouf translates the stanza in these words: "Au commencement cet 
univers etait Bhagavat, Tame et le souverain maitre de toutes les ames; 
Bbagavat existait seul sans qu'aucua attribiit le manifestat, parce que 
tout desir etait eteint en son cci'ur." 

The commentator on the Bhagavata, Sn'dharn Swaiuin, explains the latter 
part of the stanza in three ways: <T"^ ^f$iH)Hli ^Wf^^ fTfT^ ^TT" 

^^"RT^ I T^ f^^TT^ ft : ^f^-q-^T^n ^1^1%^ vynM i 

■^J^\7[^ I ^TW^t ^TRTin(JIT ^^tj f^^: ^T^ ^ I •^•^ro^- 

f^(5iTf I ^TRT^(ara'5r^T!r: I ^Tr^ii?nf^ ^rfTTf^^f^^f^fT 
Tf^ I rT^T -^r^T I ^^TT'fft^ f^t^^jT'^: I ^: ^ s^ ^T^Hfrr- 

^TTT^Tf^^: I 

* Bhdgavata-purd/ia, III, 5, 'Jb, Burnouf s translation is as follows: 
'•Or I'cnergie de cet etre done de vue, energie qui est a la fois ce qui 
existe et ce qui n'existe pas [pour nos organes], c'est la ce qui se 
nouime Maya, et c'est par elle, illustre guerrier, que I'Etre qui penetre 
toutes choses crea cet univers." 


half of it, Parardha. ^ I have ah-eady declared to you, 
sinless Brahman, that Time is a form of Vishnu. 
Hear, now, how it is applied to measure the duration 
of Brahma and of all other sentient beings, as well as 
of those which are unconscious: as'"" the mountains, 
oceans, and the like. 

best of sages, fifteen twinklings of the eye make 
aKtishtha; thirty Kashthas, oneKala; and thirty Kalas, 
one Midiiirta.^ Thirty Muhurtas constitute a day and 

' This term is also applied to a different and still more pro- 
tracted period. See b. VI., c. 3. 

' The last proportion is rather obscurely expressed : rTT^ 
f^lX^'t'^^t^^ f^t^' I 'Thirty of them (Kalas) are the rule 
for the Muhi'irta'. The commentator says it means that tliirty 
Kalas make a Ghatika (or Ghari); and two Ghatikas, a Muhurta: 
but his explanation is gratuitous, and is at variance with more 
explicit passages elsewhere; as in the Matsya: f^ljtcjf^^^ 
^%«3J^^* I 'A Muhurta is thirty Kalas. In these divisions 
of th.e twenty-four hours, the Kurma, Markandeya, Matsya, Vayu, 
and Linga Punthas exactly agree with our authority. In Manu, 
I., G4 , we have the same computation, with a difference in the 
first article, eighteen Nimeshas being one Kashtha. The Bha- 
vishya P. follows Manu, in that respect, and agrees, in the rest, 
with the Padma, which has : 

15 Nimeshas = 1 Kashtha. 

30 Kashthas - 1 Kala. 

30 Kahis = 1 Kshana, 

12 Kshaiias = 1 Muhurta. 

30 Muhiirtas = I day and night. 
In the Mahabharata, Moksha Dharma, it is said that thirty Kalas 
and one-tenth , or, according to (he commentator, thirty Kaltis 
and three Kashthas, make a Muhurta. A still greater variety, 

* Supply "the earth", bhu. 


night of mortals: thirty such clays make a month, divi- 
ded into two half-months: six months form an Ay ana 

liowever, occurs in the Bhcigavata* and in the Brahma Vaivarta P. 
These have : 

2 Paramanus = 1 Aim. 

3 Anus = 1 Trasarenu. 
3 Trasarenus = 1 Truti. 

100 Trutis = 1 Vedha. 

3 Vedhas = 1 Lava, 

3 Lavas = 1 Niniesha. 

3 Nimeshas = 1 Kshaiia. 

5 Kshai'ias = 1 Kashtluu 
15 Kashthas = 1 Lagliu. 
15 Laghus = 1 Nadika. 

2 Nadikas - I Muhurta. 
G or 7 Nadikas = 1 Yaniaf or watch of the day or night. 
Allusions to this, or either of the preceding computations, or to 
any other , have not been found in either of the other Puraiias. 
Yet the work of Gopahi Bhatta, from which Mr. Colebrooke 
states he derived his information on the subject of Indian weights 
and measures (A. R., Vol. V., 105), theSankhyaParimana, cites the 
Varaha P. for a peculiar computation , and quotes another from 
the Bhavisliya, different from that which occurs in the first chapter 
of that work, to wliich we have referred. The principle of the 
calcuhition adopted by the astronomical works is different. It is: 
G respirations (Praria) = 1 Vikah'i; 60 Vikalas = iDanda; GO Dan- 
das = 1 sidereal day. The Nimesha, which is the base of one of 
the Pauraiiik modes, is a twinkle of the eye of a man at rest; 
whilst the Paramaiiu, which is the origin of the other, and, appa- 
rently, more modern , system considering the works in which it 
occurs, is the time taken by a Paramaiiu, or mote in the sunbeam, 
to pass through a crevice in a shutter. Some indications of this 
calculation being in common currency occur in the Hindustani 

* III., 11, 5 et seq. 

f The BJtdgavata-purdna has praJiara, a synonym of yaina. 


(the period of the sun's progress north or south of 
the echptic) : and two Ay anas compose a year. The 
southern Ayana is a night, and the northern, a day, of 
the gods. Twelve thousand divine years, each com- 
posed of (three hundred and sixty) such days,'" con- 
stitute the period of the four Yugas or ages. They 
are thus distributed: the Krita age has four thousand 
divine years; the Treta, three thousand; the Dwapara, 
two thousand; and the KaU age, one thousand: so those 
acquainted with antiquity have declared. The period 
that precedes a Yuga is called a Sandhya: and it is of 
as many hundred years as there are thousands in the 
Yuga: and the period that follow^s a Yuga, termed the 
Sandhyamsa, is of similar duration. The interval be- 
tween the Sandhya and the Sandhyamsa is the Yuga, 
denominated Krita, Treta, &c. The Kfita, Treta, 
Dwapara, and Kali constitute a great age, or aggregate 
of four ages: a thousand such aggregates are a day of 
Brahma; and fourteen Manus reign within that term. 
Hear the division of time which they measure.^ 

terms Renu (Trasarenu) and Lanihaf (Laghu) in Indian horo- 
nietry(A.R., Vol. V., 81); whilst the more ordinary system seems 
derived from the astronomical works; being 60 Tilas = I Vipala; 
60 Vipalas = 1 Pala; 60 Palas = 1 Daiida or Ghari. Ihid. 

' These calculations of time are found in most of the Purtinas, 
with some additions, occasionally, of no importance; as that of 
the year of the seven Kishis, 3030 mortal years, and the year of 
Dhruva, 9090 such years, in the Linga P. In all essential points, 
the computations accord; and the scheme, extravagant as it may 

* There is nothing, in the original, answering to "each .... days". 
t This word, '>«:>\*J , being Arabic, can scarcely have any connexion 
with the Sanskrit laylui. 
I. 4 


Seven Rishis, certain (secondary) divinities, Indra,* 
Manu , and the kings his sons, are created and perish 

appear, seems to admit of easy explanation. We have, in the 
first place , a computation of the years of the gods in the four 
ages, or: 

Kfita Yuga 4000 

Sandhya 400 

Sandhyaiiisa .... 400 


Treta Yuga 3000 

Sandhya 300 

San dhy aril sa .... 300 


Dwapara Yuga 2000 

Sandhya 200 

Sandhyan'isa .... 200 


Kali Yuga 1000 

Sandhya 100 

Sandhyan'isa .... 100 


If these divine years are converted into years of mortals, by 
multiplying them by 3G0 (a year of men being a day of the gods), 
we obtain the years of which theYugas of mortals are respectively 
said to consist: 

4800x360 = 1.728.000 
2400x360= 864.000 
1200x360= 432.000 

4.320.000, a Mahayuga. 
So that these periods resolve themselves into very simple elements : 
the notion of four ages in a deteriorating series expressed by 

In the Sanskrit, Sakra, an epithet of Indra. 


at one period;^ and the interval, called a Manvvantara, 
is equal to seventy-one times the number of years con- 
tained in the four Yugas, with some additional years :^ 

descending arithmetical progression, as 4, 3, 2, 1; the conversion 
of units into thousands; and the mythological fiction, that these 
were divine years, each composed of 360 years of men. It does 
not seem necessary to refer the invention to any astronomical 
computations, or to any attempt to represent actual chronology. 
' The details of these, as occurring in each Manwantara, are 
puen in the third book, c. I and 2. 

' One and seventy enumerations of the four ages, with a surplus.' 
A similar reading occurs in several other Purarias ; but none of 
them state of what the surplus or addition consists. But it is, in 
fact, the number of years required to reconcile two computations 
of the Kalpa. The most simple, and, probably, the original, calcu- 
lation of a Kalpa is its being 1000 great ages, or ages of the gods : 

Bhavishya P. Then 4.320.000 years, or a divine age, x 1000 = 
4.320.000.000 years , or a day or night of Brahma. But a day of 
Brahma is also seventy-one times a great age multiplied by four- 
teen: 4.320.000x71 X 14 =, or less than the preceding 
by 25.920.000; and it is to make up for this deficiency, that a 
certain number of years must be added to the computation by 
Manwantaras. According to the Siirya Siddhanta, as cited by- 
Mr. Davis (A.R., Vol. II., 231), this addition consists of a Sandhi to 
each Manwantara, equal to the Satya age, or 1.728.000 years; and 
one similar Sandhi at the commencement of the Kalpa:* thus, 
4.320.000x71=306.720.000+1.728.000= 308.448.000 x 14 = 4.318.272.000 
4-1.728.000 = 4.320.000 000. The Pauraniks, however, omit the 

* Siirya- siddhanta, I., 19; p 17 of my editiou iu the Biiliotheca 
Indica: p. 10 of the American translation, and p. 4 of Paudit Bapii 
Deva Sastriu's translation. 



this is the duration of the Manu, the (attendant) divi- 
nities, and the rest, which is equal to 852.000 divine 
years, or to 306.720.000 years of mortals, independent 
of the additional period. Fourteen times this period 
constitutes a Brahma day, that is, a day of Brahma; 
the term (Brahma) being the derivative form. At the 
end of this day, a dissolution of the universe occurs,* 
when all the three worlds, earth, and the regions of 
space are consumed with fire. The dwellers of Mahar- 
loka (the region inhabited by the saints who survive 
the world), distressed by the heat, repair then to Jana- 
loka (the region of holy men after their decease). When 
the three worlds are but one mighty ocean, Brahma, 
who is one with Narayana, satiate with the demolition 
of the universe, sleeps upon his serpent-bed — contem- 
plated, the lotos -born, by the ascetic inhabitants of 

Sandbi of the Kalpa , and add the whole compensation to the 
Manwantaras. The amount of this, in whole numbers, is 1.851.428 
in each Manvvantara, or 4.320.000 x 71 = 306.720.000 + 1.851.428 
= 308.571.428 X 14 = 4.319.999.992; leaving a very small inferiority 
to the result of the calculation of a Kalpa by a thousand great 
ages. To provide for this deficiency, indeed, very minute sub- 
divisions are admitted into the calculation; and the commentator 
on our text says that the additional years, if of gods, are 5142 
years , 10 months , 8 days , 4 watches , 2 Muhiirtas , 8 Kalas , 17 
Kashthas, 2Nimeshas, and 'L th ; if of mortals, 1.851.428 years, 
6 months, 24 days, 12 Nadi's, 12 Kalas, 25 Kashthas, and 10 Ni- 
meshas. It will be observed that, in the Kalpa, we have the 
regular descending series 4, 3, 2, with ciphers multiplied ad libitum. 

* For "the term", &c., read: "At the end of this day occurs a recoalescence 
of the universe, called Brahma's contingent recoalescence:" 

Vide infra, VI., o, ad init.: also see the Murkandeya-purdm, XLVI., 38. 

BOOK I., CHAP. iir. 53 

the Janaloka — for a night of equal duration with his 
day; at the ch^se of which he creates anew. Of such 
days and nights is a year of Brahma composed; and 
a hundred such years constitute his whole life.^ One 
Parardha/ or half his existence, has expired, termina- 
ting with the Malia Kalpa^ called Padma. The Kalpa 

' The Brahma Vaivarta says 108 years; but this is unusual. 
Rrahnui's lite is but a Niniesha of Krishna, according to that 
work ; a Niniesha of Siva, according to the Saiva Purana. 

- In the last book , the Parardha occurs as a very different 
measure of time; but it is employed here in its ordinary acceptation.* 

' In theory, the Kalpas are infinite; as the Bhavishya: 

'Excellent sages, thousands of millions of Kalpas have passed; 
and as many are to come.' In the Linga Purana, and others of 
the Saiva division, above thirty Kalpas are named, and some 
account given of several ; but they are , evidently , sectarial 
embellishments. The only Kalpas usually specified are those 
which follow in the text: the one which was the last, or 
the Padma, and the present or Varaha. The first is also 
commonly called the Bnihma; but the Bhagavata distinguishes 
(he Brahma, considering it to be the first of Brahma's life, 
whilst the Padma was the last of the first Parardha. The 
term Maha, or great, Kalpa, applied to the Padma, is attached 
to it only in a general sense; or, according to the commentator, 
because it comprises, as a minor Kalpa, that in which Brahma 
was born from a lotos. Properly, a great Kalpa is not a day, 
but a life, of Brahma; as in the Brahma Vaivarta: 

^sT^^i ^^rTTT% ¥^<TT^: ^<tt: II 

' Chronologers compute a Kalpa by the life of Brahma. Minor 
Kalpas, as Sarhvarta and the rest, are numerous.' Minor Kalpas 

See Goldstiicker's Sanskrit Dictionary, sub voce "^'^TT- 


(or day of Brahma) termed Varaha is the first of the 
second period of Brahma s existence. 

here denote every period of destruction , or those in which the 
Samvarta wind, or other destructive agents, operate. Several 
other computations of time are found in different Purarias; but it 
will be sufficient to notice one which occurs in the Hari Varhsa;* 
as it is peculiar, and because it is not quite correctly given in 
M. Langlois's translation. It is the calculation of the Manava 
time, or time of a Manu : 

10 divine years = a day and night of a Manu. 

10 Manava days = his fortnight. 

10 Manava fortnights = his month. » 

12 Manava months = his season. 
6 Manava seasons - his year. 
Accordingly, the commentator says 72000 divine years make up 
his year. The French translation has: "Dix annees des dieux 
font un jour de Manou ; dix jours des dieux font un Pakcha de 
Manou", &c. The error lies in the expression "jours des clienx''\ 
and is evidently a mere inadvertence; for, if ten years make a 
(lay, ten days can scarcely make a fortnight. 

* French translation of the HarivamSa, Vol. I., pp. 43 et seq. 


Narayaria's appearance, in the beginning of the Kalpa, as the 
Varaha or boar: Piithivi (Earth) addresses him: he raises the 
world from beneath the waters: hymned by Sanandana and 
the Yogins. The earth floats on the ocean : divided into seven 
zones. The lower spheres of the universe restored. Creation 

Maitrkya. — Tell me, mighty sage, how, in the com- 
mencement of the (present) Kalpa, Narayana, who is 
named Brahma,* created all existent things.^ 

Parasara. — In what manner the divine Brahma, 
who is one with Narayana, created progeny, and is 
thence named the lord of progeny (Prajapati), the lord 
god, you shall hear.f 

At the close of the past (or Padma) Kalpa, the divine 
Brahma, endowed with the quality of goodness, awoke 
from his night of sleep, and beheld the universe void. 
He, the supreme Narayana, the incomprehensible, the 
sovereign of all creatures, invested with the form of 

' This creation is of the secondary order, orPratisarga('Jlf7TO<n'); 
water, and even the earth, being in existence, and, consequently, 
having been preceded by the creation of Mahat and the elements. 
It is also a different Pratisarga from that described by Manu, in 
which Swayanibhu first creates the waters, then the egg: one of 
the simplest forms, and, perhaps, therefore, one of the earliest, in 
which the tradition occurs. 

* Read "that Brahma, who is named Narayana": W^T •TTTT^'irT"' 

t Read, on the faith of my MSS. : "Hear from me in what manner 
the divine Brahma, one with Narayana, and the god who is lord of the 
Progenitors— i^rq/apaij-pa^t — , created progeny": 


Braluna, the god without beginning, the creator of 
all things; of whom, with respect to his nanieNarayaha, 
the god who has the form of Brahma, the imperishable 
origin* of the world, this verse is repeated: "The 
waters are called Nara, because they yvere the offspring 
of Nara (the supreme spirit); and, as, in them, his first 
(Ayana) progress (in the character of Brahma) took 
place, he is thence named Ntirayaha (he whose place 
of moving was the waters)."^ He, the lord,f conclu- 

' This is the well-known verse of Manu , I., 10,+ rendered, 
by Sir Wm. Jones: "The waters are called ndrdh , because they 
were the production of Nara, or the sjvrit of god; and, since 
they were his first ayana , or 2^lace of motion, he thence is named 
Narayaiia, or moving on the waters.'''' Now, although there can 
be little doubt that this tradition is, in substance, the same as 
that of Genesis, the language of the translation is, perhaps, more 
scriptural than is quite warranted. The waters, it is said in the 
text of Manu, were the progeny of Nara, which KuUi'ika Bhatta 
explains Param;itnian, 'the supreme soul'; that is, they were the 
first pi'oductions of god in creation. Ayana, instead of 'place 

But comitaro the Mdrka/icleya-purdna, XLVIF., 1. 

" Prahhavupyaya. See the editor's first note iu p. 21, suiira. 

f Supply "when the world had become one ocean": ^^(JT^TX!!'^ I 

In the Vishini-purdna, the last line begins: '^'5Jf«t fT'^ fTTI I 
The Uarivai'nm — I., 36 — takes the stanza from the Mdnava- d/iarma- 
sdsira, without alteration. Comjtare the J\Ja/idf>hdrata , Vana-parvaii, 
12952 and 15819; and the ^dnti-parvan , 131G8. Also see Goldstiioker's 
Sanskrit Dictionary, sub voce '^'^f«T. 

It is beyond doubt tliat the verses quoted above palter with the 
etymology of the word •Tm^W- *^^'i ^''° taddhita affix -4||^W|, which 
cannot mean "son", see the gaiia on Pauini, IV, 1, 99. 

BOOK r., CHAP. IV. 57 

ding that within the waters lay the earth, and being 
desirous to raise it up, created another form for that 

of inotioir, is explained by Asraya, 'place of abiding.' Narayana 
means, therefore, he wlioso place of abiding was the deep. The 
verse occurs in several of the Puranas, in general in nearly the 
same words, and almost always as a c[uotation, as in our text: 
T't ^^TfT'tiT'^ "^^Wl I 'Jl^he Linga, Vayu, and Markandeya 
Puranas, citing the same, liave a somewhat different reading, or: 

'A pah (is the same as) Njirjiii, or bodies (Tanavah); such, we have 
heard (from the Vedas), is the meaning of Apah. He who sleeps 
in them is, thence, called Narayana. 'f The ordinary sense of 
Tanii is either 'minute' or 'body'; nor does it occur amongst 

' The Linga-purdna—I'rior: Section, LXX , 119 and 120— has: 

The Mdrkaii(leya-purdna — X'L\U., 5— has, in one MS. that has been 

A second MS.^has the first lino the same, but, for the second: 

And a third MS., while agreeing as to the second line, begins: 

Three MSS. of the Vdyu-purd/'ia have the first verse like this last, and, 
as the second: 

^^ W^ ^ ^tt^t%'t ^tt^w: ^?t: i 

In another place the Vdyu has, according to all my MSS.: 

t "Water is the body of Nara: thus we have heard the name of water 
explained. Since Braluiid rests on the water, therefore he is termed 
Narayana " ^ 

Here, and so in the Vdyu-purdi'ia,— sec the last note — fT^lTl*Tj if 
not a copyist's mistake, denotes cause in two kinds, /. e., "hence" in 
an absolute sense. 


pur})ose; and, as, in preceding Kalpas, he had assumed 
the shape of a fish or a tortoise, so, in this, he took 

the synonyms of water in tlie Nirukta of the Vedas. It may, 
perhaps, be intended to say, that Narah or Apah has the meaning 
of 'bodily forms', in which spirit is enshrined, and of which the 
waters, with Vishnu resting upon them, are a type; for there is 
much mysticism in the Purarias in which the passage thus occurs. 
Even in them, however, it is introduced in the usual manner, by 
describing the world as water alone, and Vishnu reposing upon 
the deep : 

w^ ^TT'rawr^: ^ f^T^ ^f%% rT^ II 

Vayu P.* The Bhagavataf has, evidently, attempted to explain 
the ancient text: 

^^ ^TTT'^nift ^tW^T^it: g^^:g-^T: II 

'When the embodied god, in the beginning, divided the mundane 
egg, and issued forth, then, rec[uiring an abiding-place, he created 
the waters : the pure created the pure. In them, his own created, 
he abode for a thousand years, and thence received the name of 
Narayaria: the waters being the product of the embodied deity: 't 
i. e., they were the product of Nara or Vishnu, as the first male 

* The same passage occurs in the Linga-pxtrdna, Prior Section, LXX., 
116 and 117. And compare the Mahdbhdrata, Vana-parvan, 15813 — 15. 

These verses, in an ahiiost identical shape, are found in the Vdyu- 
purdtw. See, further, the Lingn-jmrdiia, Prior Section, IV., 59. 

f II., 10, 10 and 11. 

+ Burnouf translates: "Piirucha, ayant divise en deux parties I'a'uf 
[de Brahma], lorsqu'il en sortit au commencement, reflechit a se faire un 
lieu oij il put se monvoir; et pur, il crea les eaux pures. II habita sur 
ces eaux creees par lui, pendant mille annees; de lii vient qui'l re^oit le 
nom de Narayana, parce que les eaux qui sont nees de Purucha [sont 
appelees Nara]," 

BOOK I., CHAP. IV. 59 

the figure of a boar. Having adopted a form composed 
of the sacrifices of the Vedas/ for the preservation of 
the whole earth, the eternal,* supreme, and universal 
soul, the great progenitor of created beings, eulogized 
by Sanaka and the other saints who dwell in the sphere 
of holy men (Janaloka); he, the supporter of spiritual 
and material behig, plunged into the ocean. The god- 
dess Earth, beholding him thus descending, to the sub- 
terrene regions, bowed in devout adoration, and thus 
glorified the god: — 

Prithwi (Earth).— HaW to thee, who art all creatures; 
to thee, the holder of the mace and shell: elevate me 
now from this place, as thou hast upraised me in days 
of old. From thee have I proceeded; of thee do I 
consist; as do the skies and all other existing things. 
Hail to thee, spirit of the supreme spirit; to thee, soul 

or Viraj, and were, therefore, termed Nara: and, from their being 
his Ayana or Sthana, his 'abiding-place' , comes his epithet of 

' The Varaha form was chosen, says the Vayu P., because it 
is an animal delighting to sport in water. f But it is described, in 
many Purarias, as it is in the Vishnu, as a type of the ritual of 
the Vedas; as we shall have further occasion to remark. The 
elevation of the earth from beneath the ocean, in this form, was, 
therefore , probably at first an allegorical representation of the 
extrication of the world from a deluge of iniquity, by the rites 
of religion. Geologists may, perhaps, suspect, in the original and 
unmystified tradition, an allusion to a geological fact, or the 
existence of lacustrine mammalia in the early periods of the 

* Sthirdtman. 


of soul; to thee, who art discrete and indiscrete matter; 
who art one with the elements and with time. Thou 
art the creator of all things, their preserver, and their 
destroyer, in the forms, lord, of Brahma, Vishnu, 
and Rudra, at the seasons of creation, duration, and 
dissolution. When thou hast devoured all things, thou 
reposest on the ocean that sweeps over the world, "'^ 
meditated upon, Govinda, by the wise. No one 
knoweth thy true nature; and the gods adore thee only 
in the forms it hath pleased thee to assume. They who 
are desirous of final liberation worship thee as the 
supreme Brahma; f and who that adores not Vasudeva 
shall obtain emancipation? Whatever may be appre- 
hended by the mind, whatever may be perceived by 
the senses, whatever may be discerned by the intellect, 
all is but a form of thee. I am of thee, upheld by thee; 
thou art my creator, and to thee I fly for refuge : hence, 
in this universe, Madhavi (the bride of Madhava or 
Vishnu) is my designation. Triumph to the essence 
of all wisdom, to the unchangeable, t the imperishable: 
triumph to the eternal; to the indiscrete, to the essence 
of discrete things: to him who is both cause and effect; 
who is the universe; the sinless lord of sacrifice ;Hriumph. 
Thou art sacrifice; thou art the oblation ;§ thou art the 

' Yajnapati ( q-vjMfTf), 'the bestower of the beneficial results 
of sacrifices.' 

* Literally, in place of "thou reposest", &c., "the world having been 
converted into one ocean, thou reposest": ^^^efi] llj q^ ^Tj IJ^ ^^T^ I 

■f Read: "Worshipping thee, the supreme Brahma, they who were 
desirous of tinal liberation have compassed it" : 

+ iitiUainaya, "the gross", "the concrete." 
§ Rather, "the formula vashat", vashat'kdra, 

BOOK I., CHAP. IV. 61 

mystic Omkara; thou art the sacrificial fires; thou art 
the Vedas, and their dependent sciences; thou art, Hari, 
the object of all worship.^ The sun, the stars, the 
planets, the whole world; all that is formless, or that 
has form; all that is visible, or invisible; all, Purushot- 
tama, that I have said, or left unsaid; all this. Supreme, 
thou art. Hail to thee, again and again! hail! all hail! 
Pauasara. — The auspicious supporter of the world, 
being thus hymned by the earth, emitted a low mur- 
muring sound, like the chanting of the Sama Veda; 
and the mighty boar, whose eyes were like the'' lotos, 
and whose body, vast as the Nila mountain, was of the 
dark colour of the lotos-leaves,- uplifted upon his 
ample tusks the earth from the lowest regions. As he 
reared up his head, the waters shed from his brow 
purified the greatf sages, Sanandana and others, resi- 
ding in the sphere of the saints. Through the inden- 
tations made by his hoofs, the waters rushed into the 

' Yajnapuruslia ('^f'^'R"'^), 'the male or soul of Sacrifice'; 
explained by Yajnamurti T'Ef^Trfff), 'the form or personification 
of sacrifice'; or Yajnaradbya ( ^'^T'^TSr ) , 'he who is to be 
propitiated by it.' 

^ Varaha Avatara. The description of the figure of tlie boar 
is much more particularly detailed in other Puranas. As in the 
Vayu: "The boar was ten Yojanas in breadth, a thousand Yojanas 
high; of the colour of a dark cloud; and his roar was like thunder; 
his bulk was vast as a mountain; his tusks were white, sharp, 
and fearful; fire flashed from his eyes like lightning, and he was 
radiant as the sun; his shoulders were round, fat, and large; he 
strode along like a powerful lion ; his haunches were fat, his loins 

* Supply "full-blown", sphut'a. 
f Supply "sinless", apakalmasha. 


lower worlds with a thundering noise. Before his 
breath the pious denizens of Janaloka were scattered; 

were slender, and his body was smooth and beautifuL" * The 
Matsya P. describes the Varaha in the same words, with one or 
two unimportant varieties. The Bhagavata f indulges in that 
amplification which marks its more recent composition, and 
describes the Varaha as issuing from the nostrils of Brahma , at 
first of the size of the thumb, or an inch long, and presently 
increasing to the stature of an elephant. That work also sub- 
joins a legend of the death of the demon Hirariyaksha, t who, in 
a preceding existence, was one of Vishnu's doorkeepers, at his 
palace in Vaikuritha. Having refused admission to a party of 
Munis, they cursed him; and he was, in consequence, born as 
one of the sons of Diti. When tlie earth, oppressed by the weight 
of the mountains, sank down into the waters, Vishriu was beheld 
in the subterrene regions, or Rasatala, by Hirai'iyaksha, in the 
act of carrying it oil'. The demon claimed the earth, and defied 
Vishnu to combat; and a conflict took place, in which Hiranyaksha 
was slain. This legend has not been met with in any other 
Purana, and certainly does not occur in the chief of them, any 
more than in our text. In the Moksha Dharma of the Mahiibha- 
rata, c. 35, Vishiiu destroys the demons, in the form of the Varaha; 
but no particular individual is specified; nor does the elevation 
of the earth depend upon their discomfiture. The Kalika Upa- 
puraiia has an absurd legend of a conflict between Siva as a 

f III., 13, 18 et seq. 
I III., 18 and 19. 

BOOK I., CHAP. IV. 63 

and the Munis sought for shelter amongst the bristles 
upon the scriptural body of the boar, trembling as he 
rose up, supporting the earth, and dripping with 
moisture. Then the great sages, Sanandana and the 
rest, residing continually in the sphere of saints, were 
inspired with delight; and, bowing lowly, they praised 
the stern-eyed upholder of the earth.* 

TAeTo^m^.— Triumph, lord of lords supreme ;Kesava, 
sovereign of the earth, the wielder of the mace, the 
shell, the discus, and the sword: cause of production, 
destruction, and existence. Thou art, god: there is 
no other supreme condition but thou. Thou, lord, art 
the person of sacrifice: for thy feet are theVedas; thy 
tusks are the stake to which the victim is bound; in 
thy teeth are the offerings; thy mouth is the altar; thy 
tongue is the fire; and the hairs of thy body are the 
sacrificial grass. Thine eyes, omnipotent, are day 
and night; thy head is the seat of all, the place of 
Brahma; thy mane is all the hymns of the Vedas; thy 
nostrils are all oblations: thou, whose snout is the 
ladle of oblation; whose deep voice is the chanting of 
the Sama Veda; whose body is the hall of sacrifice; 
whose joints are the different ceremonies; and whose 
ears have the properties of both voluntary and obliga- 
tory rites : ^ do thou, who art eternal, who art in size a 

Sarabha, a fabulous animal, and Vishnu as the Varaha, in which 
the latter suffers himself and his offspring begotten upon earth to 
be slain. 

' This , which is nothing more than the development of the 
notion that the Varaha incarnation typifies the ritual of the Vedas, 

* Hereabouts the translation is not very literal. 


moimtain,* be propitious. We acknowledge thee, who 
hast traversed the world, universal form, to be the 
beginning, the continuance, and the destruction of all 
thhigs: thou art the supreme god. Have pity on us, 
lord of conscious and unconscious beings. The orb 
of the earth is seen seated on the tip of thy tusks, as 
if thou hadst been sporting amidst a lake where the 
lotos floats, and hadst borne away the leaves covered 
with soil. The space between heaven and earth is 
occupied by thy body, thou of unequalled glory, 
resplendent with the power of pervading the universe, 
lord, for the benefit of all. Thou art the aim of all; 
there is none other than thee, sovereign of the world : 
this is thy might, by which all things, fixed or movable, 
are pervaded. This form, which is now beheld, is thy 
form, as one essentially with wisdom. Those who have 
not practised devotion conceive erroneously of the 
nature of the world. The ignorant, who do notperceive 
that this universe is of the nature of wisdom, and judge 
of it as an object of perception only, are lost in the 
ocean of spiritual ignorance. But they who know true 
wisdom, and whose minds are pure, behold this whole 
world as one with divine knowledge, as one with thee, 
god. Be favourable, universal spirit: raise up this 
earth, for the habitation of created beings. Inscrutable 
deity, whose eyes are like lotoses, give us felicity. 
lord, thou art endowed with the quality of goodness: 

is repeated in most of the Puranas, in the same or nearly the 
same words. 

* The MSS. ■within my reach omit the words answering to "who art 
ill size a mountain". 


raise up, Goviiida, this earth, for the general good. 
Grant us happiness, lotos-eyed. May this, thy activity 
in creation, be beneficial to the earth. Salutation to 
thee. Grant us happiness, lotos-eyed. 

Parasara. — The supreme being thus eulogized, up- 
holding the earth, raised it quickly, and placed it on 
the summit of the ocean, where it floats like a mighty 
vessel, and, from its expansive surface, does not sink 
beneath the waters."^' Then, having levelled the earth, 
the great eternal deity divided it into portions, by 
mountains. He who never wills in vain created, by his 
irresistible power, those mountains again upon the earth, 
which had been consumed at the destruction of the 
world. Having then divided the earth into seven great 
portions or continents, as it was before, he constructed, 
in like manner, the four (lower) spheres, earth, sky, 
heaven, and the sphere of the sages (Maharloka). Thus 
Hari, the four-faced god, invested with the quality of 
activity, and taking the form of Brahma, accomplished 
the creation. But he (Brahma) is only the instrumental 
cause of things to be created; the things that are capable 
of being created arise from nature as a common material 
cause. With exception of one instrumental cause alone, 
there is no need of any other cause; for (hnperceptible) 
substance becomes perceptible substance according to 
the powers with which it is originally imbued, ^f 

* This seems equivalent to the ancient notion of a plastic 

* A large portion of the present chapter, down to this point, has been 
translated anew in Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., pp. 32 and 33. 

I. 6 


nature; "all parts of matter being supposed able to form them- 
selves artificially and methodically *** to the greatest advan- 
tage of their present respective capabilities." This, wbich Cud- 
worth (c. III.) calls hylozoism, is not incompatible with an active 
creator: "not ** that he should aviovQyelv aaavTu, set his 
own hand *- to every work," which, as Aristotle says, would 
be, ccnQsnig ** zcZ Oco) , unbecoming God; but, as in the 
case of Brahma and other subordinate agents, that they should 
occasion the various developments of cnide nature to take 
place, by supplying that will, of which nature itself is incapable. 
Action being once instituted by an instrumental medium , or by 
the will of an intellectual agent, it is continued by powers , or a 
vitality inherent in nature or the matter of creation itself. The 
efficiency of such subordinate causes was advocated by Plato, 
Aristotle , and others ; and tlie opinion of Zeno, as stated by 
Laertius , might be taken for a translation of some such passage 
as that in our text: ""^jrt di cficotg f'^tg i§ avit^g xn'oviiav)] 
yazcc on£Q/iiaTixovg Koyovg, cnmelovooc re yal ovrexovoa 
TO. e^ avitjg sv wQiofiavoig xQovoig, yal tolcwxci 6()Looa aff' 
o^kov aTrsx()f'd^i]. Nature is a habit moved from itself, according 
to ** seminal principles; pei-fecting and containing those several 
things which in determinate times are produced from it, and acting 
agreeably to that from which it was secreted." Intell. System, 
I., 328. So the commentator illustrates our text , by observing 
that the cause of the budding of rice is in its own seed , and its 
development is from itself, though its growth takes place only 

'ft^^ cTtrm %¥ ^^^T ^^ ^^rrni ii 

These rather obscure verses lend themselves, without violence, to some 
such interpretation as the following: "lie is only the ideal cause of 
the potencies to be created in the work of creation; and from him 
proceed the potencies to be created, after they have become the real 
cause. Save that one ideal cause, there is no other to which the 
world can be referred. Worthiest of ascetics, through its potency — i. e., 
through the potency of that cause — every created thing comes by its proper 

In the Vedauta and Nyaya, nimitia is the efficient cause, as contrasted 
with updddna, the material cause. In the Sankhya, pradhdna implies 


at a determinate season, in consequence of the instrumental 
agency of the rain. 

the functions of both. The author, it appears, means to express, in the 
passage before us, that Brahma is a cause superior to pradhdna. This 
cause he calls nimiUa. It was necessary, therefore, in the translation, 
to choose terms neither Vedanta nor Sankhya. "Ideal cause" and "real 
cause" may, perhaps, answer the purpose. 


Vishnu as Brahma creates the world. General characteristics of 
creation. Brahma meditates, and gives origin to, immovable 
things, animals J gf>ds, men. Specific creation of nine kinds: 
Mahat, Tanmatra, Aindriya, inanimate objects, animals, gods, 
men, Anugraha, and Kaumara. More particular account of 
creation. Origin of different orders of beings from Brahma's 
body under different conditions; and of the Vedas from his 
mouths. All things created again as they existed in a former 

Maitreya. — Now unfold to me, Brahman, how this 
deity created the gods, sages, progenitors, demons, 
men, animals, trees, and the rest, that abide on earth, 
in heaven, or in the waters; how Brahma, at creation, 
made the world, with the qualities, the characteristics, 
and the forms of things. ^ 

Parasara. — I will explain to you, Maitreya: listen 
attentively, how this deity, the lord of all, created the 
gods and other beings. 

' The terms hei-e employed are for qualities, Guhas; which, 
as we have already noticed , are those of goodness, foulness, and 
darkness.* The characteristics or Swabhavas are the inherent 
properties of the qualities, by which they act, as soothing, terrific, 
or stupefying; and the forms, Swarupas, are the distinctions of 
biped, quadruped, brute, bird, fish, and the like. 

* See Professor Wilson's note in p. 34, supra, and the appended 

BOOK I., CHAP. V. 69 

Whilst he (Brahma) formerly, in the beginning of 
the Kalpas,* was meditating on creation, there appeared 
a creation beginning with ignorance, and consisting of 
darkness. From that great being appeared fivefold 
Ignorance, consisting of obscurity, illusion, extreme 
illusion, gloom, utter darkness.^ The creation of the 
creator thus plunged in abstraction was the fivefold 
(immovable) world, without intellect or reflection, void 
of perception or sensation, incapable of feeling, and 

' Or Tamas (rTTRl^) , Moha (?ftf ) , Mahamoha (TrfWtf ), 
Tamisra (rlTt'ra'), Andhatamisra (^•^cITf'T^) J they are the 
five kinds of obstruction, Viparyaya (f^tfij"^), of soul's liberation. 
According to the Sankhya, they are explained to be: 1. The be- 
lief of material substance being the same with spirit; 2. Notion 
of property or possession, and consequent attachment to objects, 
as children and the like, as being one's own ; 3. Addiction to the 
enjoyments of sense; 4. Impatience or wrath; and 5. Fear of pri- 
vation or death. They are called, in the Patanjala philosophy, 
the five afflictions, Klesa (^"TT), but are similarly explained by 
Avidya ("^f^^l), 'ignorance'; Asmita (^t%rIT) , 'selfishness', 
literally 'I-amness'; Raga (■^^), 'love'; Dwesha (^^), 'hatred'; 
and Abhinivesa (■^f^Tf%'%lx), 'dread of temporal suffering'. San- 
khya Karika, pp. 148-150. This creation by Brahma in the Varaha 
Kalpa begins in the same way, and in the same words , in most 
of ihe Purarias, The Bhagavataf reverses the order of these 
five products, and gives them, Andhatarnisra, Tamisra, Mahamoha, 
Moha, and Tamas ; a variation obviously more immethodical than 
the usual reading of the text, and adopted, no doubt, t merely for 
the sake of gi\ang the passage an air of originality. 

* Compare Original Sanslrit Texts, Part I., p. 20. 
f III., 12, 2. In the same Puraua, III., 20, 18, we have tamisra 
andhatamisra, tamas, moha, and mahdtamas. 

: ? 


destitute of motion.^* Since immovable thinss were 
first created, this is called the first creation, f Brahma, 

* This is not to be confounded with elementary creation, al- 
though the description would very well apply to that of crude 
nature or Pradhana; but, as will be seen presently, we have here 
to do with final productions, or the forms in which the previously 
created elements and faculties are more or less perfectly aggre- 
gated. The first class of these forms is here said to be immovable 
things; that is, the mineral and vegetable kingdoms: for the solid 
earth, with its mountains, and rivers, and seas, Avas already pre- 
pared for their reception. The 'fivefold' immovable creation is, 
indeed, according to the comment, restricted to vegetables, five 
orders of which are enumerated, or: 1, trees; 2. shrubs; 3, climb- 
ing plants; 4. creepers; and 5. grasses. t 

^ffT^ ^ 3T^^^ ^crran 'nrnJT^: ii 

"Of him meditating was a fivefold creation — viz., of things — viithont 
reflection, devoid of clearness in all matters external and internal, dull 
of nature, essentially immovable." 

Another reading of the second line gives "5rf%T*f'^''W^"5r'^ I '^'^- 
"fir^^^T'l. being taken in connexion with ^f^^, the meaning is, 
then: "devoid of reflection on external objects, endowed with inward mani- 
festations." This is according to the commentary, which interprets the 
"inward manifestations" as being cognitions chiefly of a sensual kind. 

The word '^•fT, as used in the stanza quoted, is very unusual. 

"Inasmuch as things immovable are designated as primary, this is dis- 
tinguished as the primary creation." 

The commentator refers to a sacred text for the explanation that im- 
movable things are technically styled "primary", mukhga, on the ground 
that they were produced at the beginning of the creation of the gods 

and others: 15% ^Tf^^RT^ ^"m^Tc^^rr: i(Xw\ f'T'm^^ 
^: I 

See the editor's first note in p. 75, infra. 

X In the words of the commentary: H t^ jl <«^ Tt| rl T^'^T^TT^TT^ W~ 
^Trl^ ^f?T I But the grammar here looks very doubtful. 

BOOK I., CHAP. V. 71 

beholding that it was defective,'"' designed another; and, 
whilst he thus meditated, the animal creation was mani- 
fested, to the products of which the term Tiryaksrotas 
is applied, from their nutriment following a winding 
course/ f These were called beasts, &c.: and their 
characteristic was the quality of darkness; they being 
destitute of knowledge, uncontrolled in their conduct, i 
and mistaking error for wisdom; being formed of ego- 
tism and self-esteem, § labouring under the twenty- 
eight kinds of imperfection,^ manifesting inward sen- 

^ Tiryak (f?f^cR), 'crooked', and Srotas (j^Hd^)? 'a canal'. 

" Twenty-eight kinds of Badlias (^^) , which, in the Sankhya 
system, mean disahilities, as defects of the senses, blindness, deaf- 
ness, &c. ; and defects of intellect, discontent, ignorance, and the 
like. S. Karika, pp. 148, 151. In place of Badha, however, the 
more usual reading, as in the Bhagavata, Varaha, and Markari- 
deya Purarias , is Vidha (f^^) , 'kind', 'sort', || as "^"STf^^f^- 
\JT ^^T : I IF implying twenty-eight sorts of animals. These are 
thus specified in the Bhagavata, III., 10, 20-22: Six kinds have 
single hoofs: nine have double, or cloven, hoofs; and thirteen 
have five claws, or nails, instead of hoofs. The first are the 

* Because, according to the commentator, the universe "did not as 
yet possess that which is the purpose of man", namely, sacrificial acts 
and the knowledge of Brahma. The purport is, that human beings were 
not yet created: for only they can comply with the ceremonial require- 
ments of the Mimaiiisa, and pursue the study of the Vedauta. The words 
of the commentator are: ?f ^l^l'^'iFFWT^^ J^^T^l^'f "f^ I 

See, further, my third note in p. 73, itij'ra. 

t "Since the channel for their food is in a horizontal position", agree- 
ably to the commentator, who refers to authority for this explanation. 

X "Taking the wrong way", utpathagrdhin. 

§ "^^IJrlT '^^♦(T*1T^ I Compare the remarks under ■^f^^TT'T in 

Goldstiicker's Sanskrit Dicdonari/. 

il But see Panini, IV., 2, 54. 

^ Mdrkandeya-purdna, XLYII.; 20. 


sations, and associating with each other (according to 
their kinds).* 

Beholding this creation also imperfect, Brahma again 
meditated; and a third creation appeared, abounding 
with the quality of goodness, termed Urdhwasrotas. ^ 
The beings thus produced in the Urdhwasrotas creation 
were endowed with pleasure and enjoyment, unencum- 
bered internally or externally, and luminous within and 
without. f This, termed the creation of immortals, t 

horse, the mule, the ass, the yak, the Sarabha, and the Gaura 
or white deer. The second are the cow, the goat, the buffalo, 
the hog, the gayal, the black deer, the antelope, the camel, and 
the sheep. The last are the dog, jackal, Avolf, tiger, cat, hare, 
porcupine, lion, monkey, elephant, tortoise, lizard, and alligator. § 
^ IJrdhwa (^^), 'above', and Srotas, as before; their nourish- 
ment being derived from the exterior, not from the interior, of 
the body; according to the commentator: ^^^f^ ^^l["f%^^ 
Wtf\ W^T^^*lf '^T^ ^: I as a text of the Vedas has it: 
'Through satiety derived from even beholding ambrosia'; '^?TfT- 

"Endowed with inward manifestations, and mutually in ignorance about 
their kind and nature." 

"Those beings in wliich was a preponderance of happy and pleasurable 
feelings, and that were unduU externally and internally, and possessed 
outward and inward manifestations, were called Urdhwasrotas." 

+ Deva-sarga. 

§ "Black deer" is krishi'ia; "antelope", ruru: "lizard", godhd: and 
"alligator", makara. 

II The gods are called urdhwasrotas, because they obtain their food 
extraneously to the body. That is to say, the bare sight of aliment 
stands, to them, in place of eating it: "for there is satisfaction from the 
mere beholding of ambrosia". So says — not a Vaidik text, but — the 

BOOK I., CHAP. V. 73 

was the third performance of Brahma, who, aUhough 
well pleased with it, still found it incompetent to fullil 
his end.* Continuing, therefore, his meditations, there 
sprang, in consequence of his infallible purpose, f the 
creation termed Arvaksrotas, from indiscrete nature. 
The products of this are termed Arvaksrotas,^ from 
the downward current (of their nutriment). They 
abound with the light of knowledge; but the qualities 
of darkness and of foulness predominate. Hence they 
are afflicted by evil, and are repeatedly impelled to 
action. They have knowledge both externally and in- 
ternally, and are the instruments (of accomplishing the 
object of creation, the liberation of soul), t These crea- 
tures w^ere mankind. § 

I have thus explained to you, excellent Muni, six^ 

' Arvak ("^^Tcfi): 'downwards', and Srotas (^tfl'^)? 'canal'. |I 
'^ This reckoning is not very easily reconciled with the crea- 

commentator. The quotation from the Veda, which he adds, in support 
of his -view, is: •5T f % ^^ W^l^ ^Jf^ "Pl^f^ I TlfT^^T^iT 

^^1 TfTSff^ I "The gods do not, indeed, either eat or drink. Having 
loolied upon this ambrosia, they are satisfied." 

* The translation is here somewhat compressed. 

f Satydhliidhayin , — here an epithet of Brahm;i , — "true to his will". 
The commentator explains it by satya-san^alpa. 

+ The words in brackets are supplied by the translator. The com- 
mentator says: lETT^ejiT: cI}^"^T»nt^ofrrfT^Tf!; I Allusion is made, 
in the original text, to man's exclusive prerogative to engage in sacrifice 
and to explore the nature of spirit. See the editor's first note in p. 71, 

§ For another rendering, see Original Sanskrit Texts, Parti., pp.20 
and 21. 

I] Men are called arvaksrotas, because they are developed by means 
of their food going downwards. So says the commentator: "?(^T^'qT- 

^^: lTf%%fTfT^W ^I^fT ff^T% ^TTtl^^ ^TcTT: I Possibly 
the light word is acdksrotas. 


creations. The first creation was that of Mahat or In- 
tellect, which is also called the creation of Brahma. * 
The second was that of the rudimental principles (Tan- 
matras), thence termed the elemental creation (Bhiita- 
sarga). The third was the modified form of egotism,* 
termed the organic creation, or creation of the senses 
(Aindriyaka). These three were the Prakfita creations, 
the developments of indiscrete nature, preceded by the 
indiscrete principle.^ The fourth or fundamental crea- 
tions described ; for, as presently enumerated, the stages of creation 
are seven. The commentator, however, considers the Urdhwa- 
srotas creation, or that of the superhuman beings, to be the same 
with that of the Indriyas or senses, over which they preside; by 
which the number is reduced to six. f 

' This creation being the work of the supreme spirit, '^^ 
TI-?:?rr^T rn^^^t ^^ f^%^ X'^^: it according to the com- 
mentator; or it might have been understood to mean, that Brahma 
was then created, being, as we have seen, identified with Mahat, 
'active intelligence', or the operating will of the Supreme. See 
note in p. 33, supra. 

^ The text is: '^Pl'. "^Pi^ "^f^qcjol}: | which is, as rendered 
in the text, 'creation preceded by, or beginning with, Buddhi, in- 

* "Modified form of egotism" here translates vaikdrika; and this is 
synonymous with sditwika, the adjective oi sattira. See Professor Wilson's 
note in p. 34, and the editor's comment in p. 35, supra. 

-}• Mention has been made, in the second chapter, of three creations, 
denominated mahattattwa, hliuta, and indriya; and we have just read of 
four, the muk/iya, tiryaksrotas , urdhwasrotas, and arvdksrotas. The in- 
driya comprehends the urdhwasrotas, according to the commentator. He 
speaks of a reading "seven", instead of "six"; when, he says, the ur- 
dhwasrotas is not comprised in the indriya; and the order of the crea- 
tions is as follows: mahattattwa, bhika, indriya, mukhya, tiryaksrotas, 
urdhwasrotas, and arvdksrotas. 

I Most of my copies of the commentary have: Tf^ W^TT "^<s*H<*<T 

BOOK I., CHAP. V, 75 

tion (of perceptible things) was that of inanimate 
bodies.* The tifth, the Tairyagyonya creation, was 
that of animals. The sixth was the Urclhwasrotas crea- 
tion, or that of the divinities. The creation of the 
Arvaksrotas beings was the seventh, and was that of 
man. There is an eighth creation, termed Anugraha, 
which possesses both the qualities of goodness and 

telligence.' The rules of euphony woukl, however, admit of a 
mute negative being inserted, or ^wft 'SWf^'T'^^* I 'preceded 
by ignorance'; that is, by the chief principle, crude nature or 
Pradhana, which is one with ignorance: but this seems to depend 
on notions of a later date and more partial adoption than those 
generally prevailing in our authority; and the first reading, there- 
fore, has been preferred. It is also to be observed, that the first 
unintellectual creation was that of immovable objects (as in p. 69, 
svpra)^ the original of which is 

and all ambiguity of construction is avoided. The reading is also 
established by the text of the Linga Puraiia , which enumerates 
the different series of creation in the words of the Vishnu, except 
in this passage, v^hich is there transposed, with a slight variation 
of the reading. Instead of 

it is 

'The first creation was that of Mahat; Intellect being the first in 
manifestation.' The reading of the Vayu P. is still more tauto- 
logical, but confirms that here preferred: 

See also note 2 in the next page. 

"And the fourth creation is here the primary ; y'or (/linga immovable 
are emphatically known as primary." 

See the editor's second note in p, 70, supra. 
t Liiiga-purd/ia, Prior Section, LXX,, 162. 


darkness. ^ Of these creations five are secondary and 
three are primary.^ But there is a ninth, the Kaumara 

' The Anugvalia creation , of Avliioh no notice has been found 
in the Mahabharata, seems to have been borrowed from the San- 
kliya philosophy. It is more particulai'ly described in the Padma, 
Markaiideya, ■•■ Linga, f and Matsya Puranas; as: 

'The fifth is the Anugraha creation, which is subdivided into four 
kinds; by obstruction, disability, perfectness, and accjuiescence.' 
This is the Pratyayasarga or intellectual creation of the Sankhyas 
(S. Kcirika, v. 46, p. 146); the creation of which we have a notion, 
or to which we give assent (Anugraha), in contradistinction to 
organic creation, or that existence of which we have sensible per- 
ception. In its specific subdivisions, it is the notion of certain 
inseparable properties in the four different orders of beings : ob- 
struction or stolidity in inanimate things; inability or imperfection 
in animals; perfectibility in man; and accpiescence or tranquil 
enjoyment in gods. So also the Vayu P.: 

"ftr^grran^ t^^t^ ^f^'^^^ irr^ir^ ii 

' OrVaikrita, derived mediately from the first principle, through 
its Vikfitis, 'productions' or 'developments'; and Prakrita, derived 
more immediately from the chief principle itself. Mahat and the 
two forms of Ahamkara, or the rudimental elements and the 
senses, constitute the latter class ; inanimate beings, &c, compose 
the former: or the latter are considered as the Avork of Brahma, 
whilst the three first are evolved from Pradhana. So the Vayu : 

* XLVII., 28; where, however, the second half of the stanza is read; 

f Prior Section, LXX., 157. 

X The Vdyu-purdna, to the same effect — only that it substitutes "eighth" 
for "fifth" — as the verses given above, is cited by the commentator. 
Then follows the stanza with which the note concludes. 

BOOK I., CHAP. V. 77 

creation, which is both primary and secondary. ^ These 
are the nine creations of the great progenitor of all, 

f f^^t T^^^ ^^^TT WinU^ % II 

'The three creations beginning with Intelligence are elemental; 
bnt the six creations which proceed from the series of which In- 
tellect is the first are the work of Brahma.' 

' We must have recoui'se, here also, to other Puranas, for the 
elucidation of this term. The Kaumara creation is the creation 
of Rudra or Nilalohita, a form of Siva, by Brahma, which is sub- 
sequently described in our text, and of certain other mind-born 
sons of Brahma, of whose birth the Vishnu P. gives no further 
account. They are elsewhere termed Sanatkumara, Sananda, Sa- 
naka, and Sauiitana, with sometimes a fifth, Ribhu, added. These, 
declining to create progeny, remained, as the name of the first 
implies, ever boys, Kumaras; that is, ever pure and innocent; 
whence their creation is called the Kaumara. Thus the Vayu: 

^^ ^^^ % WWT 'TT'WT^^^: ^^T'l: I 

^'T^^ ^^^^ f^^T^ ^ ^^lcl^»l II 

^sfT^iTTT^^ ^ ^ % ^^ g ^% I 

And the Linga has: 

rl^Tc^^t^Kf^ ^T^^f IT^fTfrT: II* 

'Being ever as he Avas born, he is here called a youth; and hence 
his name is Avell known as Sanatkumara.' This authority makes 
Sanatkumara and Ribhu the two first born of all: 

^TTrq^^ jTT^^r: ^^r^t^ ^wt lit 

whilst the text of the Hari Van'isa limits the primogeniture to 
Sanatkumara : 

In another place, however, it enumerates, apparently, six, or the 

• Prior Section, LXX., 174. 

t Prior Section, LXX., 170 and 171. 


and, both as primary and secondary, are the radical 
causes of the world, proceeding from the sovereign 
creator. What else dost thou desire to hear? 

above four, with Sana, and either Ribhu or another Sanatana: 
for the passage is corrupt. The French translation" ascribes a 
share in creation to Sanatkumara: 'Les sept Pradjapatis, Roudra, 
Scanda (son fils), et Sanatcoumara se mirent a produire les etres, 
repandant partout I'inepuisable energie du Dieu.' The original is : 

^^: ^^FTr^^nT^ %^: ^^^ f?r¥rT: lit 

Sankshipya is not 'repandant', but 'restraining'; and Tisht'hatah, 
being in the dual number, relates, of course, to only two of the 
series. The correct rendering is: 'These seven (Prajapatis) created 
progeny; and so did Rudra: but Skanda and Sanatkumara, re- 
straining their power, abstained (from creation).' So the com- 
mentator: ^f^^frw ^f%T2i f%^iT ^ft^^^i%^ tTTBrr: i 

These sages, however, live as long as Brahma; and they are only 
created by him in the first Kalpa, although their generation is 
very commonly, but inconsistently, introduced in the Varaha or 
Padma Kalpa. This creation, says the text, is both primary 
(Prakrita) and secondary (Vaikrita). It is the latter, according 
to the commentator, as regards the origin of these saints from 
Brahma: it is the former, as affects Rudra, who, though proceed- 
ing from Brahma, in a certain form was in essence equally an 
immediate production of the first principle. These notions, the 
birth of Rudra and the saints, seem to have been borrowed from 
the Saivas, and to have been awkwardly engrafted upon the Vai- 
shnava system. Sanatkumara and his brethren t are always de- 
scribed, in the Saiva Puranas, as Yogins: as the Kurma, after 
enumerating them, adds: 

• Vol. I., p. 6. 
t Stanza 44. 

+ On the subject of these personages, see Original Sanskrit Texts, 
passim, and the Sdnkhya-sdra, Preface, pp. 13 et seg., foot-note. 

BOOK I., CHAP. Y. 79 

Maitreya. — Thou hast briefly related to me, Muni, 
the creation of the gods and other beings. I am de- 
sirous, chief of sages, to hear from thee a more ample 
account of their creation. 

Parasara. — Created beings, although they are de- 
stroyed (in their individual forms) at the periods of 
dissolution, yet, being affected by the good or evil acts 
of former existence, they are never exempted from 
their consequences; and, when Brahma creates the 
world anew, they are the progeny of his will, in the 
fourfold condition of gods, men, animals, or inanimate 
things. Brahma then, being desirous of creating the 
four orders of beings, termed gods, demons, progeni- 

' These five, O Brahmans, were Yogins, who acquired entire 
exemption from passion : ' and the Hari Vanisa , although rather 
Vaishnava than Saiva, observes, that the Yogins celebrate these 
six, along with Kapila, in Yoga works: 

^fl^Tt "^ftTcT^^ ^p^^t^ tl[^TrI^: II* 

The idea seems to have been amplified also in the Saiva works; 
for the Linga P. describes the repeated birth of Siva, or Viima- 
deva, as a Kumara, or boy, from Brahma, in each Kalpa, who 
again becomes four. Thus, in the twenty-ninth Kalpa, Sweta- 
lohita is the Kumara; and he becomes Sananda, Nandana, Viswa- 
nanda, Upanandana; all of a white coijiplexion : in the thirtieth, 
the Kumara becomes Virajas, Vivahu, Visoka, Viswabhiivana; 
all of a red colour : in the thirty-first, he becomes four youths of 
a yellow colour; and, in the thirty-second, the four Kumaras were 
black. All these are, no doubt, comparatively recent additions to 
the original notion of the birth of Rudra and the Kumaras; itself 
obviously a sectarial innovation upon the primitive doctrine of 
the birth of the Prajapatis or will-born sons of Brahma. 

Stanza 12439. 


tors, and men, collected his mind into itself.^ Whilst 
thus concentrated, the quality of darkness pervaded 
his body; and thence the demons (the Asuras) were 
first born, issuing from his thigh. Brahma then aban- 
doned that form which was composed of the rudiment 
of darkness, and which, being deserted by him, became 
night. Continuing to create, but assuming a different 
shape, he experienced pleasure; and thence from his 
mouth proceeded the gods, endowed with the quality 
of goodness. The form abandoned by him became day, 
in which the good quality predominates; and hence by 
day the gods are most powerful, and by night the de- 
mons. He next adopted another person, in which the 
rudiment of goodness also prevailed; and, thinking of 
himself as the father of the world, the progenitors (the 

^ These reiterated, and not always very congruous, accounts 
of the creation are explained, by the Puraiias, as referring to dif- 
ferent Kalpas or renovations of the world, and therefore involving 
no incompatibility. A better reason for their appearance is, the 
probability that they have been borrowed from different original 
authorities. The account that follows is evidently modified by 
the Yogi Saivas, by its general mysticism, and by the expressions 
with which it begins: 

'Collecting his mind into itself, lT«fY ^*n^% I according to the 
comment, is the performance of the Yoga (Yuyuje). The term 
Anibhamsi, lit., 'waters^ for the four orders of beings, gods, de- 
mons, men, and Pitfis, is, also, a peculiar, and, probably, mystic, 
term. The commentator says it occurs in the Vedas, as a synonym 
of gods, «fec.: TTfTTf^ ^^T^'Wtt% I ^^T ^^Tt t^fTft ^fTT 
^fTT W^:. The Vayu Purana derives it from ^ -to shine'; be- 
cause the different orders of beings shine , or flourish , severally, 
by moonlight, night, day, and twilight: ^f^ ^^TTTTcft'J'Wtftri&c. 

BOOK I., CHAP. V. 81 

Pitris) were born from his side.* The body, when he 
abandoned it, became the Sandhya (or evening twi- 
light), the interval between day and night. Brahma 
then assumed another pei'son, pervaded by the quality 
of foulness; and from this, men, in whom foulness (or 
passion) predominates, were produced. Quickly aban- 
doning that body, it became morning twilight, or the 
dawn. At the appearance of this light of day, men 
feel most vigour; while the progenitors are most power- 
ful in the evening season. In this manner, Maitreya, 
Jyotsna (dawn), Ratri (night), Ahan (day), and Sandhya 
(evening), are the four bodies of Brahma invested by 
the three qualities. ^ 

' This account is given in several other Puraiias : in the Kurma, 
with more simplicity; in the Padma, Linga, and Viiyu, with more 
detail. The Bhagavata, as usual, amplifies still more copiously, 
and mixes up much absurdity with the account. Thus, the person 
of Sandhya, 'evening twilight', is thus described: "She appeared 
with eyes rolling with passion, whilst her lotos-like feet sounded 
with tinkling ornaments: a muslin vest depended from her waist, 
secured by a golden zone: her breasts were protuberant and close 
together; her nose was elegant; her teeth, beautiful; her face 
was bright with smiles, and she modestly concealed it with the 
skirts of her robe; whilst the dark curls clustered round her 
brow."f The Asuras address her, and win her to become their 

* "Of the -world" and "from his side" are adopted from the com- 
t Bhagavata- purdim, III., 20, 29-31: 

^^■RTT ff^ f^JmTWNr^^^TTR: II 
^nff '^^^ \mT^ ^^^TT^Ri^^t^^^ I 


Next, from Brahma, in a form composed of the quaH- 
ty of foulness, was produced hunger, of whom anger 
was born: and the god put forth, m darkness, beings 
emaciate with hunger, of hideous aspects, and with 
long beards. Those beings hastened to the deity. Such 
of them as exclaimed Oh preserve us! were, thence, 
called Rakshasas:^* others, who cried out Let us eat. 

bride. To the four forms of our text the same work adds: 
Tandri, 'sloth'; Jrimbhaiia, 'yawning'; Nidn'i, 'sleep'; Unmada, 
'insanity' ; Antardhana, 'disappearance' ; Pratibimba, f 'reflexion' ; 
which become the property of Pisachas, Kimnaras, Bhutas, Gan- 
dharvas, Vidyadharas, Sadhyas, Pitfis, and Manus. The notions 
of night, day, twilight, and moonlight being derived from Brahma 
seem to have originated with the Vedas. Thus, the commentator 
on the Bhagavata observes : ^^ rT^Tn^'rrnR^f ff ¥T fTTf'T- 
^"RT^f^t^ "^fH ♦ I ' That which was his body, and was left, was 
darkness: this is the Sruti.' All the authorities place night before 
day, and the Asuras or Titans, before the gods , in the order of 
appearance; as did Hesiod and other ancient theogonists. 

' From Raksh (TT^)? 'to preserve.' 

"Those among them that called out 'Not so: oli! let him be saved!' 
were named Rakshasas." 

It is related, Iq the BJidgavata-purdna , III,, 20, 19-21, that Brahma 
transformed himself into night, invested with a body. This the Yakshas 
and Rakshasas seized upon, exclaiming "Do not spare it; devour it." 
Brahma cried out "Don't devour me; spare me." 

The original of Brahma's petition is: J{^ Tft ^^cT TWfT I 

For yakslia, as implied in jakshata, see the editor's fourth note iu 
the next page. 

t The Bhdgavata-purdna has the strange term pratydtmya. Pratihimha 
occurs iu Sridhara Swamin's elucidation of it. 

Jrimbha/ia, just above, has been substituted for Professor Wilson's 

BOOK I., CHAP. V. 83 

were denominated, from that expression, Yakshas.^ 
Beholding them so disgusting, the hairs of Brahma* 
were shrivelled up, and, first falling from his head, 
were again renewed upon it. From their falling, they 
became serpents, called Sarpa, from their creepmg, 
and Ahi, because they had deserted the liead.^ The 
creator of the world, being incensed, then created fierce 
beings, who were denominated goblins, Bhutas (ma- 
lignant fiends), and eaters of flesh, f The Gandharvas 
were next born, imbibing melody. Drinking of the 
goddess of speech, they were born, and thence their 
appellation. ^ 

The divine Brahma, mfluenced by their material 
energies, having created these beings, made others of 
his own will. Birds he formed from his vital vigour; 
sheep, from his breast; goats, from his mouth; kine, 
from his belly and sides; and horses, elephants, Sara- 
bhas, Grayals, deer, camels, mules, antelopes, t and other 

■ From Yaksh (^^),§ 'to eat.' 

* From Srip (^T^)? serpo, 'to creep', and from Ha (^), 'to 
abandon. ' 

^ Gam dhayantali (yij ^p^nT^), 'drinking speech.' 

* Vedhas, in the Sanskrit. 

t These creatures were "fiends, frightful from being monkey-coloured, 
and carnivorous:" 

^W^ ^f?^^T ^rn% ftlflTfTTtll^T: I 

+ Nyanku. 

§ Professor Wilson's "from that expression", in the text, answers to 
jakshandt. According to the commentator, this word means "from eating"; 
for he takes yafo/i, its base, to be a substitute for yaksh. The sense of 
yaksh, in classical Sanskrit, is "to venerate". 

For the derivation of the words rdkshasa and yaksha, see the Linga- 
pxird/ia. Prior Section, LXX., 227 and 228. 



animals, from his feet; whilst from the hairs of his 
body sprang herbs, roots, and fruits. 

Brahma, having created, in the commencement of 
the Kalpa, various* plants, employed them in sacrifices, 
in the beginning of the Treta age. Animals were dis- 
tinguished into two classes, domestic (village) and wild 
(forest). The first class contained the cow, the goat, 
the hog,f the sheep, the horse, the ass, the mule; the 
latter, all beasts of prey, t and many animals with cloven 
hoofs, the elephant, and the monkey. The fifth order 
were the birds; the sixth, aquatic animals; and the 
seventh, reptiles and insects. ^§ 

From his eastern mouth Brahma then created the 
Gayatra metre, the Rig-veda, the collection of hymns 
termed Trivfit, the Rathantara portion of the Sama- 
veda, and the Agnishtoma sacrifice: from his southern 
mouth he created the Yajur-veda, the Traishtubha 
metre, the collection of hymns called Panchadasa, the 
Brihat Saman, and the portion of the Sama-veda 
termed Ukthya: from his western mouth he created 

^ This and the preceding enumeration of the origin of vege- 
tables and animals occurs in several Puraiias, precisely in the 
same words. The Linga adds a specification of the Araiiya or 
wild animals , which are said to be the buffalo , gayal , bear, 
monkey, Sarabha, wolf, and lion. , 

* Insert "sacrificial animals", paht. 

t The MSS. consulted by me have "man" piirusha. The commentator 
observes, that, in the nara-medha, or human sacrifice, man is accounted 
a sacrificial animal. His words are : q^tfV fT'51 \ I •TT^'V fT^ ^^I" 

+ Swdpada. 

§ "Reptiles and insects", mrisHpa. 

BOOK I., CHAP. V. 85 

the Sanaa -veda, the Jagati metre, the collection of 
hymns termed Saptadasa, the portion of the Saman 
called Vairupa, and the Atiratra sacrifice : and from his 
northern mouth he created the Ekavinsa collection of 
hymns, the Atharva-veda, the Aptoryaman rite, the 
Aniishtubh metre, and the Vairaja portion of the Sama- 

' This specification of the parts of the Vedas that proceed 
from Brahma occurs, in the same words, in the Vayu, Linga, 
Kurma, Padma, and Markarideya Puraiias. The Bhagavata offers 
some important varieties: "From his eastern and other mouths 
he created the Rich, Yajus, Saman, and Atharva Vedas; the 
Sastra ('Sf'^) or 'the unuttered incantation'; Ijya (^^^TT)? 'obla- 
tion'; Stuti (^ffr) and Stoma (wt^T), 'prayers' and 'hymns'; 
and Prayaschitta (iTT^rf^Tl), 'expiation', or 'sacred philosophy' 
(Brahma): also the Vedas of medicine, arms, music, and me- 
chanics; and the Itihasas and Purarias, which are a fifth Veda: 
also the portions of the Vedas called Shodasin, Ukthya, Purishin, 
Agnishtut, Aptoryaman, Atiratra, Vajapeya, Gosava;f the four 

* It is on the authority of the commentator, as supplementing the 
text, that Gayatra and Anusht'ubh are here said to be metres; that 
Agnisht'oma, Atiratra, and Aptoryaman are taken to denote parts of a 
sacrifice, viz., of the Jyotisht'oma ; and that Vairupa and Vairaja deno- 
minate sundry verses of the Sama-veda. But the commentator also says 
that Ukthya is, here, a stage of a sacrifice: ^TT^4^i|I^- He means 
the Jyotisht'oma. 

As to Aptoryaman, both in the Vishi'iu-purdiia and in the Bhagavata, 
it is to be regarded as a Pauraiiik alteration of the Vaidik Aptoryama. 

For Vairupa and Vairaja, see Benfey's Index to the Sama-veda: Indische 
Stiulien, Vol. III., p. 238. 

Professor Wilson's "Gayatri", "Trisht'ubh", and "Uktha" have been 
corrected to Gayatra, Traisht'ubha, and Ukthya. 

See, regarding the passage thus annotated. Original Sanskrit Texts, 
Part III,, pp. 6 and 7. 

t These are not characterized, in the original, as "portions of the 
Vedas", They are sacrificial proceedings. 


In this manner, all creatures, great or small, pro- 
ceeded from his limbs. The great progenitor of the 

parts of virtue, purity , liberality , piety , and truth ; the orders of 
life, and their institutes and different religious rites and pro- 
fessions ; and the sciences of logic, ethics, and polity. The mystic 
words and monosyllable proceeded from his heart; the metre 
Ushriih, from the hairs of his body; Gayatri, from his skin; 
Trishtubh, from his flesh; Anushtubh, from his tendons; Jagati, 
from his bones j Pankti, from his marrow; Bfihati, from his breath. 
The consonants were his life ; the vowels, his body; the sibilants, 
his senses; the semi- vowels, his vigour."* This mysticism, al- 
though, perhaps, expanded and amplified by the Paurariiks, appears 
to originate with the Vedas ; as in the text '^'Tgt^'ra^i^^ | 'The 
metre was of the tendons. ' The different portions of the Vedas 
specified in the text are yet, for the most part, uninvestigated. 

* Bhdgavata-purdna, III., 12, 37-41 and 44-47: 

l[^jgn?n ^^Tf ITT^f^Tf ^^r^WTf^ II 

^rgw^ ^^X ^'^^ ^^^TTW^: I 
-mvm '^T^^lt ^TTr^^Tf^f*rg%: ii 

^%'«r TT^ 5%^: ^f% ^4^^5r: ii 

^^nHt^TTTfllTTTl" ^ TTWq^ ¥^^^ II 

f^^T ^'t rrxr: ^ ^^#f7r ir^t^ ^ i 
^■RT^r? ^^T^^^f^c^f ^tW^: II 

■Jf ^J "Jf -Jf ■Sf -Jf -Jf •!£• "Sf "Jf 

Ti^ ^Wrf^r^Twrm^ ir^ ^Ict: ii 
f^^wTRTr^Tr i^^Tt?!^: -sTonxm: ii 
^W^T*r^^^- ^ft ^^ ^^TifT: II 

BOOK r., CHAP. V. 87 

world, having formed the gods, demons, and Pitris,* 
created, in the commencement of the Kalpa, the Ya- 
kshas, Pisachas (gobhns), Gandharvas, and the troops 
of Apsarasas, the nymphs of heaven, Naras (centaurs, 
or beings with the Hmbs of horses and human bodies), 
and Kin'maras (beings f with the heads of horses), Ra- 
kshasas, birds, beasts, deer, serpents, and ah things 
permanent or transitory, movable or immovable. This 
did the divine Brahma, the first creator and lord of 
all. And these things, being created, discharged the 
same functions as they had fulfilled in a previous crea- 
tion, t whether malignant or benign, gentle or cruel, 
good or evil, true or false; and, accordingly as they 
are actuated by such propensities, will be their conduct. 

And the creator § displayed infinite variety in the 
objects of sense, in the properties of living things, and 
in the forms of bodies. He determined, in the beginning, 
by the authority of the Vedas, the names and forms 
and functions of all creatures, and of the gods; and the 
names and appropriate offices of the Rishis, as they 
also are read in the Vedas.!! 

In like manner as the products of the seasons de- 
signate, in periodical revolution, the return of the 
same season, so do the same circumstances indicate 
the recurrence of the same Yuga or age; and thus, in 
the beginning of each Kalpa, does Brahma repeatedly 
create the world, possessing the power that is derived 

* Add "men", manushya. 

t Literally, "men", manushya. 

X See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., p. 21. 

§ Supply Dhatri, a name of Brahma. 

II See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part III., p. 4, second foot-note. 


from the will to create, and assisted by the natural and 
essential faculty of the object to be created.* 

"As, in every season, multifarious tokens are, in turn, beheld thereof, so, 
at the beginnings of the Yugas, it is tvith their products. Possessed of the 
desire and of the power to create, and impelled by the potencies of what 
is to be created, again and again does he, at the outset of a Kalpa, put 
forth a similar creation." 

The writer may have had in mind a stanza of the Mdnava-dharma- 
sdstra; I., 30. 


Origin of the four castes: their primitive state. Progress of 
society. Different kinds of grain. Efficacy of sacrifice. Duties 
of men: regions assigned them after death. 

Maitreya. — Thou hast briefly noticed, ilhistrious 
sage, the creation termed Arvaksrotas, or that of man- 
kind. Now explain to me more fully how Brahma 
accomplished it; how he created the four different 
castes;* what duties he assigned to the Brahmans and 
the rest.^ 

Parasara. — Formerly, best of Brahmans, when 
the truth-meditating f Brahma was desirous of creating 
the world, there sprang, from his mouth, beings espe- 
cially endowed with the quality of goodness ; others, 
from his breast, pervaded by the quality of foulness; 
others, from his thighs, in whom foulness and darkness 
prevailed; and others, from his feet, in whom the quali- 
ty of darkness predominated. These were, in suc- 
cession, beings of the several castes,— Brahmans, Ksha- 
triyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras; produced from the mouth, 

* The creation of mankind here described is rather out of its 
place, as it precedes the birth of the Prajapatis, or their pro- 
genitors. But this want of method is common to the Puraiias, 
and is evidence of their being compilations from various sources. 

* Add "and with what qualities": ^jJTJft^ I 

t Satydhhidhayin, "true to his will.'' The commentator here, for the 
second time, explains it by satya-sankalpa. See my second note in 
p. 73, supra. 


the breast, the thighs, and the feet, of Brahma. * These 
he created for the performance of sacrifices; the four 
castes being the fit instruments of their celebration. * 
By sacrifices, thou who knowest the truth, the gods 
are nourished; and, by the rain which they bestow, 
mankind are supported:^ and thus sacrifices, the source 
of happiness, are performed by pious men, attached to 
their duties, attentive to prescribed obhgations, and 
walking in the paths of virtue. Men acquire (by them) 
heavenly fruition, or final felicity: they go, after death, 
to whatever sphere they aspire to, as the consequence 
of their human nature. The beings who were created 
by Brahma, of these four castes, were, at first, endowed 
with righteousness and perfect faith; they abode wher- 
ever they pleased, unchecked by any impediment; their 
hearts were free from guile; they were pure, made free 
from soil, by observance of sacred institutes. In their 
sanctified minds Hari dwelt; and they were filled with 
perfect wisdom, by which they contemplated the glory 

■ This original of the four castes is given in Manu , f and in 
most of the Puraiias. We shall see, however, that the distinctions 
are subsequently ascribed to voluntary election, to accident, or 
to positive institutions. 

^ According to Manu, oblations ascend to and nourish the 
sun; whence the rain falls upon earth, and causes the growth of 
corn.+ Burnt-offerings are, therefore, the final causes of the support 
of mankind. 

* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., pp. 21 and 22. 

t In the Manava-dharma-k'tstra , I., 31, the Kshatriya is said to have 
proceeded from the arms of Brahma. And so state the Purusha-si'/kta 
of the Rig-veda, &c. 

+ Mdnava-dharma-idstra, III., 76. 

BOOK I., CHAP. VI. 91 

of Vislinii/ After a while, (after the Treta age had 
contmued for some period), that portion of Hari which 
has been described as one with Kala (time) infused into 
created beings sin, as yet feeble, though formidable, 
or passion and the like— the impediment of soul's libera- 
tion, the seed of iniquity, sprung from darkness and 
desire. The innate perfectness of human nature was 
then no more evolved: the eight kinds of perfection, 
Rasollasa and the rest, were impaired;^ and, these 

' This description of a pure race of beings is not of general 
occurrence in the Puranas. It seems here to be abridged from a 
much more detailed account in the Brahmanda, Vayu, and Mur- 
karideya Puranas. In those works, Brahma is said to create, in 
the beginning of the Kalpa, a thousand pairs of each of the four 
classes of mankind, who enjoy perfect happiness during the Krita 
age, and only gradually become subject to infirmities, as the 
Treta or second age advances. 

^ These eight perfections or Siddhis are not the supernatural 
faculties obtained by the performance of the Yoga. They are 
described, the commentator says, in the Skanda and other works; 
and from them he extracts their description: 1. Rasollasa, the 
spontaneous or prompt evolution of the juices of the body, inde- 
pendently of nutriment from without: 2. Tripti, mental satisfac- 
tion, or freedom from sensual desire: 3. Samya, sameness of 
degree: 4. Tulyata, similarity of life, form, and feature: 5. Visoka, 
exemption alike from infirmity or grief: 6. Consummation of 
penance and meditation, by attainment of true knowledge: 7. The 
power of going everywhere at will : 8. The faculty of reposing 
at any time or in any place.* These attributes are alluded to, 

* I add the text from MSS. at my disposal. To judge from Professor 

Wilson's translation, his text must have been rather different. 


being enfeebled, and sin gaining strength, mortals were 
afflicted with pain, arising from susceptibility to con- 
trasts, (as heat and cold, and the like)."* They therefore 
constructed places of refuge, protected by trees, by 
mountains, or by water; surrounded them by a ditch 
or a wall, and formed villages and cities; and in them 
erected appropriate dwellings, as defences against the 
sun and the cold/ Having thus provided security 

though obscurely, in the Vayu, and are partly specified in the 
Markandeya Puraria. f 

' In the other three Puraiias, in which this legend has been 
found, the different kinds of inhabited places are specified and 
introduced by a series of land measures. Thus, the Markandeya t 
states that 10 Paramarius = I Parasukshma ; 10 Parasukshmas = 
1 Trasareriu ; 10 Trasarenus = 1 particle of dust or Mahirajas ; 

^g^ g^fTT fTT^m^: f 'i^^"^: 11 

* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., pp. 22 and 23. 

t XLIX., 18, et seq. X XLIX., 3G-40: 

w'TT^H^uiT'^n^^T^Et fT<fr i f ^tr: I 

^^1"^ ^t '^^ f%rTf%f%Trf -^m^ II 
'^f W ^tl^TS^ ^Tf^T ^'m^ ^ II 

BOOK I., CHAP. vr. 93 

against the weather, men next began to employ them- 
selves in manual labour, as a means of livelihood, (and 

10 Mahirajasas = 1 Balagra, 'hair's point'; 10 Balagras = 1 Likhya; 
10 Likhyas = 1 Yuka; 10 Yiikas - 1 heart of barley (Yavodara); 
10 Yavodaras - 1 grain of barley of middle size ; 10 barley-grains 
= 1 finger, or inch; 6 fingers = a Pada or foot (the breadth of it); 
2 Padas = 1 Vitasti or span; 2 spans := 1 Hasta or cubit; 4 Hastas 
= a Dhanus, a Danda or staff, or 2 Nadikas ; 2000 Dhanusas = 
a Gavyuti; 4 Gavyiitis = a Yojana. The measurement of the 
Brahmanda is less detailed. A span from the thumb to the first 
finger is a Pradesa; to the middle finger, a Tala;* to the third 
finger, a Gokarna; and, to the little finger, a Vitasti, which is 
equal to twelve Angulas or fingers; understanding, thereby, ac- 
cording to the Vayu, a joint of the finger ("^^^"T^lfw)- Accord- 
ing to other authorities, it is the breadth of the thumb at the tip. 

For this passage, I Lave used manuscripts, in preference to the Calcutta 
edition of the 3Idrkai'ic(eya-purdiia. According to my text, the measures 
noted are as follows: 

A paramd/iu is a para siikskma, ultimate minimum; or the sense 
may be 

8 paramd/ia 


para sdkshma. 

8 para sukshma 



8 trasarenu 



8 mahirajas 



8 bdldgra 



8 likslui 



8 yukd 



8 yavodara 



6 angula 



2 pada 



2 vitasti 


hasta, loug cubit. 

4 hasta 


dhanurdancla, bow-staff. 

2 dhanurdai'icla 



2000 dhanus 



2 krokt 



4 (jai-yuti 



Compare Colebrooke, Asiatic Researches, Vol. V., pp. 103 and 104. 
* Corrected from Professor Wilson's "Nala". 


cultivated) tlie seventeen kinds of useful grain — rice, 
barley, wheat, millet, sesamum, panic,* and various 

(A. R., Vol. v., 104.) The Vayu, giving similar measurements,f upon 
the authority of Manu+ (*{»f^^Tf^ ITTRTTf^), although such a 
statement does not occur in the Manu Samhita, adds, that 21 
fingers = I Ratni ; 24 fingers = 1 Hasta or cubit ; 2 Ratnis - 1 Kishku ; 
4 Hastas = 1 Dhanus ; 2000 Dhanusas = 1 Gavyuti; and 8000 Dha- 
nusas = 1 Yojana. Durgas or stronghold are of four kinds; three 
of which are natural , from their situation in mountains , amidst 
water, or in other inaccessible spots. The fourth is the artificial 
defences of a village (Grama), a hamlet (Khetaka), or a city 
(Pura or Nagara), which are, severally, half the size of the next 
in the series. The best kind of city is one which is about a mile 
long by half a mile broad, built in the form of a parallelogram, 
facing the north-east, and surrounded by a high wall and ditch. 
A hamlet should be a Yojana distant from a city; a village, half 
a Yojana from a hamlet. The roads leading to the cardinal points 
from a city should be twenty Dhanusas (above 100 feet) broad : 

* "Millet" and "panic", a/iu and priyangu. 

t ^^Tf ^P^fir^T ^rra: itt^ ^5^% i 

Wf%¥^T f^rrf^^ ^^ITTf ^ ^3^% I 

Tf^Tf ^rq^rfw ¥^"^ ^Wf^iffTf: ii 
^gf%f7if^f ^ f^: ■^T^fwrf^(-Tr?) g i 
f^^: ^<ft f^Tf^^ f^r^^fr^^fH*! II 

v^:^f% 1 cr^ ^f7i#ft»TT^ II 
wt ^^:^f ^Tfw "^fr^ %f^T^% I 

+ In one of the four MSS. of the Vdyu-purdna that I have consulted, 
the verses quoted in the last note are introduced by a stanza and a half, 
at the beginning of ■which are the words ♦I'Tl^lf'f TTTTWTf'T I But 
these words mean nothing; and there is no reference to Manu. We here 
simply have a clerical error, in place of the opening words of the passage 
cited, in p. 92, from the Mdrkancleya-purdna, The forementioned MS. of 
the Vdyu-purdna must have been transcribed from a somewhat ancient 
copy, or from one in the Bengali character. 

BOOK I., CHAP. VI. 95 

sorts of lentils, beans, and pease/ These are the kmds 
cultivated for domestic use. Bat there are fourteen 
kinds* which may be offered in sacrifice. They are: rice, 
barley, Masha, wheat, millet, and sesamum; Priyangu 
is the seventh, and Kulatthaka, pulse, the eighth. The 
others are: Syamaka, a sort of panic; Nivara, unculti- 
vated rice; Jartila, wild sesamum; Gavedhuka (coix 
barbata); Markataka, wild panic; and (a plant called) 
the seed or barley of the Bambu (Venuyava).f These, 

a village road should be the same: a boundary road, ten Dha- 
nusas: a royal or principal road or street should be ten Dhanusas 
(above fifty feet) broad: a cross or branch road should be four 
Dhanusas. Lanes and paths amongst the houses are two Dhanusas 
in breadth; footpaths, four cubits; the entrance of a house, three 
cubits ; the private entrances and paths about the mansion, of still 
narrower dimensions, t Such were the measurements adopted by 
the first builders of cities, according to the Puranas specified. 

^ These are enumerated in the text, as well as in the Vayu 
and Markandeya Puranas, and are: Udara, a sort of grain with 
long stalks (perhaps a holcus); Koradusha (Paspalum kora); 
Chinaka, a sort of panic (Paspalum miliaceum); Masha, kidney 
bean (Phaseolus radiatus); Mudga (Phaseolus mungo); Masiira, 
lentil (Ervum hirsutum); Nishpava, a sort of pulse; Kulatthaka 
(Dolichos biflorus); Adhaki (Cytisus cajanus); Chariaka, chick 
pea (Cicer arietinum); and Saiia (Crotolaria). 

• Supply "cultivated and wild", ?n*^TT^T^ I 

f The Mdrkandeya-purd/ia, XLIX., 70, e( seq., omits masha, but, by 
compensation, inserts kurubinda between gavedhuka and markataka. The 
MSS. I have seen of that Puraiia afford no warrant for such readings of 
the edition in the Bibliotheca Indica as yartila for jartila, vemgradha 
for venuyava, and, in the preceding list, gaiia for saiia. 

The Vdyu-purdna, though professing to name only fourteen vegetable 
productions that may be used in sacrifice, names all that are mentioned 
in the Vishnu-'purdna, and one more. The fifteenth is kurubinda. 

X Mdrkatideya-purdiia, XLIX., 41, et seq. 


cultivated or wild, are the fourteen grains that were 
produced for purposes of offering in sacrifice; and 
sacrifice (the cause of rain) is their origin also. They, 
again, with sacrifice, are the great cause of the per- 
petuation of the human race ; as those understand who 
can discriminate cause and effect. Thence sacrifices 
were offered daily; the performance of which, best 
of Munis, is of essential service to mankind, and ex- 
piates the offences of those by whom they are observed. 
Those, however, in whose hearts the drop of sin de- 
rived from Time (Kala) M^as still more developed, as- 
sented not to sacrifices, but reviled both them and all 
that resulted from them, the gods, and the followers 
of the Vedas. Those abusers of the Vedas, of evil 
disposition and conduct, and seceders from the path 
of enjoined duties, were plunged in wickedness.^* 

The means of subsistence having been provided for 
the beings he had created, Brahma prescribed laws 
suited to their station and faculties, the duties of the 
several castes and orders, - and the regions of those of 

' This allusion to the sects hostile to the Vedas — Buddhists or 
Jainas — does not occur in the parallel passages of the Vtiyu and 
Markaiideya Purarias. 

^ The Vayu goes further than this, and states that the castes 
were now first divided according to their occupations; having, 
indeed, previously stated that there was no such distinction in 
the Kfita age: 

Brahma now appointed those who were robust and violent to be 
Kshatriyas, to protect the rest ; those who were pure and pious lie 
made Brahmans; those who were of less power, but industrious, 

* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., p. 23. 

BOOK I., CHAP. vr. 97 

the different castes who were observant of their duties.* 
The heaven of the Pitris is the region of devout Brah- 
mans; the sphere of Indra, of Kshatriyas who fly not 
from the field. The region of the winds is assigned to 
the Vaisyas who are diUgent in their occupations; and 
submissive Siidras are elevated to the sphere of the 
Gandharvas. Those Brahmans who lead religious lives 
go to the world of the eighty-eight thousand saints; 
and that of the seven Rishis is the seat of pious an- 
chorets and hermits. The world of ancestors is that 
of respectable householders; and the region of Brahma 

and addicted to cultivate the ground, he made Vaisyas; whilst 
the feeble and poor of spirit were constituted Siidras. And he 
assigned them their several occupations, to prevent that inter- 
ference with one another which had occurred as long as they re- 
cognized no duties peculiar to castes, f 

* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., p. 23. The original has Praja 
pati in place of "Brahma". "Orders" renders dsrama. 

^ WW ^^^ft f Wnfr WTWWTf % I 

% '^T^iTgw^^^t %^ ^ ^f^rrr: ii 

^^T^T ^lll-^t^ '^ ^^t TnifTf^fTT: I 
%^T%^ g rlTsn^: oft^ITT^ff^^y^T^ II 
^'^nT^ "^^^^ ^^Tf ^ TfTi: I 

■f^%^^^^^^T"5^ ^t^T^WThg ^: II 

¥f%fft lTl«cn"?lt g ^^1^^151^ ^^-51: II 
WTlfvWT^^^ ^^W^ T^^T'l II 

For another translation of this passage, and several various readings, 
s«e Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., pp. 30 and 31. 

I. 7 


is the asylum of religious mendicants. ^^' The imperish- 
able region of the Yogins is the highest seat of Vishnu, 
where they perj^etually meditate upon the supreme 
being, f with minds intent on him alone. The sphere 
where they reside the gods themselves cannot behold, t 
The sun, the moon, the planets, § shall repeatedly be 
and cease to be; but those who internally repeat the 
mystic adoration of the divinity shall never know decay. 

' These worlds, some of which will be more particularly 
described in a different section, are the seven Lokas or spheres 
above the earth: 1. Prajapatya or Pitri-loka: 2. Indra-loka or 
Swarga: 3. Marul-loka orDiva-loka, heaven: 4. Gandharva-loka, 
the region of celestial spirits; also called Mahar-loka: 5. Jana- 
loka or the sphere of saints. Some copies read eighteen thousand; 
others, as in the text, which is also the reading of the Padnia 
Puraiia: 6. Tapo-loka, the world of the seven sages: and T.Brahma- 
loka or Satya-loka, the world of infinite wisdom and truth. The 
eighth, or high world of Vishnu, fcjtlij^ ; TfJ^ ^^^ I ^^ ^ sectarial 
addition, which, in the Bhagavata, is called Vaikuiitha, and, in 
the Brahma Vaivarta, Go-loka; both, apparently, and, most cer- 
tainly, the last, modern inventions. 

• "Heaven of the Pitris" and "world of ancestors": in the original, 
Prajapatya. "Region of the winds" and "sphere of the Gandharvas", 
Maruta and Gandharva. "Brahmans who lead religious lives", ^(fr(n'asi/i,- 
■which the commentator explains as meaning conventuals abiding for life 
with a spiritual guide, and devoted to theology. They are said to inherit 
the region of the Valikhilyas and other high saints. "Pious anchorets 
and hermits", vanaukas; the same as vdnaprastha. "Religious mendi- 
cants", nydsin; one with saihnydsvi. The original leaves "householders" 

■J- Brahma, in the Sanskrit. 

* Such MSS. as I have consulted exhibit the reading: 

§ "The sun, the moon, and other planets." The original is in the 
note following. 

BOOK I., CHAP. VI. 99 

For those who neglect then- duties, who revile the 
Vedas, and obstruct religious rites, the places assigned, 
after death, are the terrific regions of darkness, of deep 
gloom, of fear, and of great terror, the fearful hell of 
sharp swords, the hell of scourges and of a waveless 

' The divisions of Naraka or hell, here named, are again more 
particularly enumerated, b. II., c. 6. 

^^rf^^^-sf ^t ^T^^'^TTtf^'Tfi: II 

The 1[T^'5|'T'^T' 01" "spell of twelve syllables",- Professor Wil son^s 
"mystic adoration of the divinity ", — consists of the words ^ •1*M 
»^^^% "^T^%^T^ I Also see the Professor's Samkrit Dictionary, sub 

voce ^^T^TJ\^- 


Creation continued. Production of the mind-born sons of Brahma ; 
of the Prajapatis; of Sanandana and others; of Rudra and the 
eleven Rudras; of the Manu Swayan'ibhuva and his wife Sata- 
rupa; of their children. The daughters of Daksha, and their 
marriage to Dharma and others. The progeny of Dharma and 
Adharma. The perpetual succession of worlds, and different 
modes of mundane dissolution. 

Parasara. — From Brahma, contmuing to meditate, 
were born mind-engendered progeny, with forms and 
faculties derived from his corporeal nature; embodied 
spirits, produced fromtheperson" of that all-wisef deity. 
All these beings, from the gods to inanimate things, ap- 
peared as I have related to you ; ^ being the abode of the 
three qualities. But, as they did not multiply themselves, 
Brahma created other mind-born sons, like himself; 
namely: Bhrigu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angiras, 
Marichi, Daksha, Atri, and Vasishtha. These are the 
nine Brahmas (or Brahmarshis) celebrated in the Pu- 
rahas.^t Sanandana and the other sons of Brahma § 

' It is not clear which of the previous narratives is here re- 
ferred to ; but it seems most probable that the account in pp. 70-72 
is intended. 

^ Considerable variety prevails in this list of Prajapatis, Brah- 
maputras , Brahmas , or Brahmarshis ; but the variations are of 

* Literally, "limbs", gdtfa. 

t Dhimat. 

I See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., pp. 24, 25, and 80. 

§ Yedhas, in the Sanskrit. 

BOOK I., CHAP. vir. 101 

were previously created by him. But they were without 
desire or passion, inspired with holy wisdom, estranged 

the nature of additions made to an apparently original enumera- 
tion of but seven, whose names generally recur. Thus, in the 
Mahabharata , Moksha Dharma, we have, in one place, Marichi, 
Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, and Vasishtha: 

www: w^ % HTT ^iT(?n^: w^^> i * 

'the seven high-minded sons of the self-born Brahma.' In another 
place of the same, however, we have Daksha substituted for 
Vasishtha : 

'TfVf^'rWfWT^ g^{if ^^ ^grc lit 

'Brahma then created mind-begotten sons, of whom Daksha was 
the seventh, with Marichi ', &c. These seven sons of Brahma are 
also identified with the seven Rishis; as in the Vayu: 

although, with palpable inconsistency, eight are immediately 
enumerated ; or : Bhrigu, Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, 
Kratu, and Vasishtha. The Uttara Khaiida of the Padma Purana 
substitutes Kardama for Vasishtha. The Bhagavata includes 
Daksha, enumerating nine.t The Matsya agrees with Manu, in 
adding Narada to the list of our text. The Kurma Purana adds 
Dharma and Sankalpa. The Linga, Brahmaiida, and Vayu Pu- 
raiias also add them, and extend the list to Adharma and Ruchi. 
The Hari Vanisa, in one place, inserts Gautama, and, in another, 
Manu. Altogether, therefore, we have seventeen, instead of seven. 
But the accounts given of the origin of several of these show 
that they were not, originally, included amongst the Manasaputras 
or sons of Brahma's mind; for even Daksha, who finds a place 
in all the lists except one of those given in the Mahabharata, is 

♦ ^dnti-parvan, 7569, 7570: and see 13075. 
t Ihid., 7534. 

+ The Bhdgavata-purdm, III., 12, 22, includes Daksha and Narada; 
thus enumerating ten. 


from the universe, and ondesirous of progeny. This 
when Bnihmii perceived, he was filled with wrath 

uniformly said to have sprung from Brahma's thumb: and the 
same patriarch, as well as Dharma, is included, in some accounts, 
as in the Bhagavata and Matsya Purarias, amongst a different 
series of Brahma's progeny, or virtues and vices; or: Daksha 
(dexterity), Dharma (virtue), Kama (desire), Krodha (passion), 
Lobha (covetousness) , Moha (infatuation), Mada (insanity), Pra- 
moda (pleasure), Mfityu (death), and Angaja (lust). These are 
severally derived from different parts of Brahma's body; and the 
Bhagavata, adding Kardama (soil, or sin) to this enumeration, 
makes him spring from Brahma's shadow. The simple statement 
that the first Prajapatis sprang from the mind, or will, of Brahma, 
has not contented the depraved taste of the mystics; and, in some 
of the Purarias, as the Bhagavata, Linga, and Vayu, they also 
are derived from the body of their progenitor; or: Bhrigu, from 
his skin; Marichi, from his mind; Atri, from his eyes; Angiras, 
from his mouth; Pulastya, from his ear; Pulaha, from his navel; 
Kratu, from his hand; Vasishtha, from his breath; Daksha, from 
his thumb ; and Narada, from his hip. They do not exactly agree, 
however, in the places whence these beings proceed; as, for in- 
stance, according to the Linga, Marfchi springs from Brahma's 
eyes , not Atri , who , there , proceeds , instead of Pulastya , fi'om 
his ears. The Vayu has, also, another account of their origin, 
and states them to have sprung from the fires of a sacrifice offered 
by Brahma; an allegorical mode of expressing their pi-obable 
original, — considering them to be, in some degree, real persons, — 
from the Brahmanical ritual, of which they were the first institu- 
tors and observers. The Vayu Puraria also states, that, besides 
the seven primitive Rishis, the Prajapatis are numerous, and 
specifies Kardama, Kasyapa, Sesha, Vikranta, Susravas, Bahu- 
putra, Kumara, Vivaswat, Suchisravas, Prachetasa (Daksha), 
Arishtanemi, Bahula. These and many others were Prajapatis: 

In the beginning of the Mahabhjirata(Adi Parvan), we have, again, 
a different origin; and, first, Daksha, the son of the Prachetasas, it 

BOOK I., CHAP. vir. 103 

capable of consuming the three worlds, the flame of 
which invested, like a garland, heaven, earth, and hell. 
Then from his forehead, darkened with angry frowns, 
sprang Rudra,^ radiant as the noon -tide sun, fierce, 

is said, had seven sons, after whom the twenty-one Prajapatis were 
born, or appeared. According to the commentator, the seven sons of 
Daksha were the allegorical persons Krodha, Tamas, Dama, Vi- 
knta,Angiras, Kardama, andAswa; and the twenty-one Prajapatis, 
the seven usually specified, — Marichi and the rest, — and the fourteen 
Manus. This looks like a blending of the earlier and later notions. 
' Besides this general notice of the origin of Rudra and his 
separate forms, we have, in the next chapter, an entirely differ- 
ent set of beings so denominated ; and the eleven alluded to in 
the text are also more particularly enumerated in a subsequent 
chapter. The origin of Rudra, as one of the agents in creation, 
is described in most of the Puraiias. The Mahabharata, indeed, 
refers his origin to Vishnu; representing him as the personification 
of his anger, whilst Brahma is that of his kindness : 

-^: ^% ^rarzTw ^fft %w^ t cTWT I 

fT^T^rTtf^^rRl- ff^^fTT^TT^'l- II* 

The Kurma Puraiia makes him proceed from Brahma's mouth, 
whilst engaged in meditating on creation. The Varaha Puraria 
makes this appearance of Rudra the consequence of a promise 
made by Siva to Brahma, that he would become his son. In the 
parallel passages in other Purarias , the progeny of the Rudra 
created by Brahma is not confined to the eleven, but comprehends 
infinite numbers of beings , in person and equipments like their 
parent ; until Brahma , alarmed at their fierceness , numbers , and 
immortality, desires his son Rudra, or, as the Matsya calls him, 
Vamadeva, to form creatures of a different and mortal nature. 
Rudra refusing to do this, desists; whence his name Sthariu, from 
Stha, 'to stay'. Linga, Vayu Puraiias, &c. 

* Mahabharata, ^dnti-parvan, 13146-7. 


and of vast bulk, and of a figure which was half male, 
half female. Separate yourself, Brahma said to him, 
and, having so spoken, disappeared; obedient to which 
command, Rudra became twofold, disjoining his male 
and female natures. His male being he again divided 
into eleven persons, of whom some were agreeable, 
some hideous ; some fierce, some mild.* And he multi- 
plied his female nature manifold, of complexions black 
or white, ^f 

Then Brahma^ created, himself, the Manu Swayam- 

' According to the Vayu, the female became, first, twofold, 
or one half white, and the other, black ; and each of these, again, 
becomes manifold, being the various energies or Saktis of Maha- 
deva, as stated by the Kurma, after the words 4<4<^l|4^f4J7| I t%<Tt I 
which are those of our text: 

The Linga and Vayu specify many of their names. Those of 
the white cpmplexion, or mild nature, include Lakshmi, Saraswati, 
Gauri, Uma, &c. ; those of the dark hue, and fierce disposition, 
Durga, Kali, Chaiidi, Maharatri, and others. 

^ Brahma, after detaching from himself the property of anger, 
in the form of Rudra, converted himself into two persons, the 
first male, or the Manu Swayaiiibhuva, and the first woman, or 
Satarupa. So, in the Vedas: T^^T(?rT % ^"^ •TTTWttt. 1+ ^^^ 
himself was indeed (his) son. ' The commencement of production 
through sexual agency is here described with sufficient distinct- 
ness; but the subject has been rendered obscure by a more com- 

* According to the commentator, "fierce" and "mild" are exepegetical 
of "agreeable" and "hideous". 

t See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV,, p. 331. 

+ This quotation requires to be slightly altered. The commentator, 
after citing -4(1 (4|M^'^ from the Vishnu-'purdiia , proceeds: -4||(44| % 
^^TT'lT^B^Vf?! ■5[%! I These words, ending with y^^??Tf%, aie 
from the Satapatha-brdhmana, XIV., 9, 4, 26. 

BOOK I., CHAP. VII. 105 

bhuva, born of, and identical with, his original self, 
for the protection of created beings: and the female 

plicated succession of agents, and, especially, by the introduction 
of a person of a mythic or mystical character, Viraj. The notion 
is thus expressed in Manu: "Having divided his own substance, 
the mighty powder Brahma became half male and half female; 
and from that female he produced Viraj. Know^ me to be that 
person whom the male Viraj produced by himself." I. 32, 33.* 
We have, therefore, a series of Brahma, Viraj, and Manu, instead 
of Brahma and Manu only; also the generation of progeny by 
Brahma, begotten on Satanipa, instead of her being, as in our 
text, the wife of Manu. The idea seems to have originated with 
the Vedas, as Kulluka Bhatta quotes a text: fT<ft f^XT^S^n^TFI I 
'Then (or thence) Viraj was born'. The procreation of progeny 
by Brahma, however, is at variance with the whole system, 
which, almost invariably, refers his creation to the operation of 
his will: and the expression, in Manu, cl^rf ^ f%TT5l''T"5^ft, I 
'he created Viraj in her', does not necessarily imply sexual inter- 
course. Viraj also creates, not begets, Manu. And in neither 
instance does the name of Satanipa occur. The commentator on 
Manu, however, understands the expression Asrijat to imply the 
procreation of Viraj : ?ra%'T ^W^ I 'ind the same interpretation 
is given by the Matsya Furai'ia, in which the incestuous passion 
of Brahma for Satanipa, — his daughter, in one sense, his sister, 
in another, — is described ; and by her he begets Viraj, who there 
is called, not the progenitor of Manu, but Manu himself: 

7T^: ^T%^ TrffTT fT^rr: g^^^r^^g: i 
^^T^^^ Tt^ ^TcT: ^ f%TTf%f7T ^: ^fin lit 

This, therefore, agrees with our text, as far as it makes Manu 
the son of Brahma, though not as to the nature of the connexion. 

^^ 'nft <T-^ ^ f%T:T^^^fq^: II 
ft Tt f%Tn^ ^^ ^¥Tt t^[^rerTTTn: 

f Matsya-purd/ia, III., 49, 50. 


portion of himself he coiistitated Satanipa, whom 
austerity purified from the sin (of forbidden nuptials), 

The reading of the Agni and Padma Purarias is that of the 
Vishnu: and the Bhagavata agrees with it, in one place; stating, 
distinctly, that the male half of Brahma was Manu, the other 
half, Satanipa: 

Bhagavata, III., 12, 53, 54: and, although the production of Viraj 
is elsewhere described, it is neither as the son of Brahma nor 
the father of Manu. The original and simple idea, therefore, 
appears to be, the identity of Manu with the male half of Brahma, 
and his being, thence, regarded as his son. The Kurma Purana 
gives the same account as Manu, and in the same words. The 
Linga Purana and Vayu Purana describe the origin of Viraj and 
Satanipa from Brahma j and they intimate the union of Satanipa 
with Purusha or Viraj, the male portion of Brahma, in the first 
instance, and, in the second, with Manu, who is termed Vairaja, 
or the son of Viraj: %<^|^^ ■JFTTt ^(TI I The Brahma Purana, 
the words of which are repeated in the Hari Vaiiisa, inti'oduces 
a new element of perplexity, in a new name, that of Apava. 
According to the commentator, this is a name of the Prajapati 
Vasishtha: ^RT^^^f^^ I M <«1 l*J t H^TTWI I As, however, he 
performs the office of Brahma, he should be regarded as that 
divinity. But this is not exactly the case, although it has been 
so rendered by the French translator. Apava becomes twofold, 
and , in the capacity of his male half, begets offspring by the fe- 
male. Again, it is said Vishnu created Viraj, and Viraj created 
the male, which is Vairaja or Manu; who was, thus, the second 
interval (Antara) or stage in creation. That is, according to the 
commentator, the first stage was the creation of Apava, or Va- 
sishtha, or Viraj, by Vishnu, through the agency of Hiranyagarbha 
or Brahma ; and the next was that of the creation of Manu by 
Viraj. Satanipa appears as, first, the bride of Apava, and then 
as the wife of Manu. This account, therefore, although obscurely 
expressed, appears to be essentially the same with that of Manu; 

BOOK I., CHAP. VII, 107 

and whom the divine Manu Swayambhuva took to wife. 
From these two were born two sons, Priyavrata and 

and we have Brahma, Viraj, Manu, instead of Brahma and Manu. 
It seems probable that this difference , and the part assigned to 
Viraj, has originated, in some measure, from confounding Brahma 
with the male half of his individuality, and considering as two 
beings that which was but one. If the Purusha or Viraj be dis- 
tinct from Brahma, what becomes of Brahma ? The entire whole 
and its two halves cannot coexist; although some of the Paura- 
riiks and the author of Manu seem to have imagined its possi- 
bility, by making Viraj the son of Brahma. The perplexity, 
however, is still more ascribable to the personification of that 
which was only an allegory. The division of Brahma into two 
halves designates , as is very evident from the passage in the 
Vedas given by Mr. Colebrooke, (As. R., VIII., 425,*) the dis- 
tinction of corporeal substance into two sexes; Viraj being all 
male animals, Satarupa, all female animals. So the commentator 
on the Hari Variisa explains the former to denote the horse, the 
bull, &c., and the latter, the mare, the cow, and the like. In the 
Bhagavata, the term Viraj implies Body collectively, as the com- 
mentator observes: ^^fS'^TTtT ^f^'!?! WdM-MluH Wff"^ 
■RfftJW^^^ t^TT^ lTr|xr^XT(II^^: ^^^ I 'As the sun 
illuminates his own inner sphere, as well as the exterior regions, 
so soul, shining in body (Viraja), irradiates all without and within.' 
t^TT%t TT^nr^'^WT^ "R^^^rfTT l ah, therefore, that 
the birth of Viraj was intended to express, was, the creation of 
living body, of creatures of both sexes; and, as, in consequence, 
man was produced , he might be said to be the son of Viraj , or 
bodily existence. Again , Satarupa , the bride of Brahma , or of 
Viraj, or of Manu, is nothing more than beings of varied or 
manifold forms, from Sata, 'a hundred', and "^XJ 'form'; explained, 
by the annotator on the Hari Vamsa, by Anantarupa ("^i^nT^Hl), 
' of infinite ', and Vividharupa (f^f^^I'^T), 'of diversified shape' ; 
being, as he states, the same as Maya, 'illusion' , or the power 

Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. I., p, 64. 


Uttanapada/ and two daughters, named Prasuti and 
Akuti, graced with loveUness and exalted merit. - Pra- 
suti he gave to Daksha, after giving Akuti to the pa- 
triarch Ruchi/ who espoused her.* Akuti bore to 
Ruchi twins, Yajna and Dakshina,* who afterwards 

of multiform metamorphosis: '^^^^M^TT^TU^TT^ I The Matsya 
Puraiia has a little allegory of its own, on the subject of Brahma's 
intercourse with Satariipa; for it explains the former to mean the 
Vedas, and the latter, the Savitri or holy prayer, which is their 
chief text; and in their cohabitation there is, therefore, no evil: 

^^TTfir: ^^ wwT ^rrf^^ rr^f^frr i 
fT^nw ^rf%^: ^Tf^Tf^Tt'm% 1^mt: iit 

' The Brahma Puraria has a different order, and makes Vira 
the son of the first pair, who has Uttanapada, &c. by Kamya, 
The commentator on the Hari Variisa quotes the Vayu for a 
confirmation of this account. But the passage there is: 

'Satariipa bore to the male Vairaja (Manu) two Viras', i. e., 
heroes, or heroic sons, Uttanapada and Priyavrata. It looks as if 
the compiler of the Brahma Puraiia had made some very un- 
accountable blunder, and invented, upon it, a new couple, Vira 
and Kamya. No such person as the former occurs in any other 
Puraiia; nor does Kamya, as his wife. 

' The Bhagavata adds a third daughter, Devahiiti; for the 
purpose, apparently, of introducing a long legend of the Rishi 
Kardama, to whom she is married, and of their son Kapila: a 
legend not met with anywhere else. 

^ Ruchi is reckoned amongst the Prajapatis, by the Linga 
and Vayu Purarias. 

* These descendants of Swayambhuva are, all, evidently, alle- 
gorical. Thus, Yajna ("^T^) is 'sacrifice', and Dakshiria (^f^WT), 
'donation' to Brahmans. 

* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I,, p. 25. 
I Matsya-purdna, lY., 10, 11. 

BOOK I., CHAP. VII. 109 

became husband and wdfe, and had twelve sons, the 
deities called Yamas, ^ in the Manwantara of Swayaih- 

The patriarch Daksha had, by Prasuti, twenty-four 
daughters.^ Hear from me their names: Sraddha (faith), 
Lakshmi (prosperity), Dhriti (steadiness), Tushti (re- 
signation), Pushti (thriving), Medha (intelligence), 
Kriya (action, devotion), Buddhi (intellect), Lajja 
(modesty), Vapus (body), Santi (expiation), Siddhi 
(perfection), Kn*tti (fame). These thirteen daughters of 
Daksha, Dharma (righteousness) took to wife. The 
other eleven bright-eyed and younger daughters of the 
patriarch were: Khyati (celebrity), Sati (truth), Sam- 
bhiiti (fitness), Smriti (memory), Priti (affection), 
Kshama (patience), Samnati (humility), Anasuya (cha- 
rity), IJrja (energy), with Swaha (offering), and Swadha 
(oblation). These maidens were respectively wedded 
to the Munis Bhrigu, Bhava, Marichi, Angiras, Pulastya, 
Pulaha, Kratu, Atri, and Vasishtha, to Fire (Vahni),* 
and to the Pitfis (progenitors), ^f 

' The Bhagavata (b. IV. c. 1) says the Tushitas: but they 
are the divinities of the second, not of the first, Manwantara; as 
appears also in another part of the same, where the Yamas are 
likewise referred to the Swayambhuva Manwantara. 

^ These twenty -four daughters are of much less universal 
occurrence in the Puranas than the more extensive series of fifty 
or sixty, which is subsequently described, and which appears to 
be the more ancient legend. 

^ The twenty-four daughters of Daksha are similarly named 

* For Vahni's wife, Swaha, and for other allegorical females here men- 
tioned, as originating from particles of prakntl, see the Brahmavaivarta- 
purd/'ia, in Prof. Aufrecht's Catalog. Cod. Manuscript., &c., p. 23. 

t See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., p. 324. 


The progeny of Dhanna, by tlie daughters of Daksha, 
were as follows: by Sraddha, he had Kama (desh'e); 
by Lakshmi,* Darpa (pride); by Dhriti, Niyama (pre- 
cept); by Tushti, Santosha (content); by Pushti, Lobha 
(cupidity); by Medha, Sruta (sacred tradition); by 
Kriyti, Danda, Naya, and Vinaya (correction, polity, 
and prudence); by Buddhi, Bodha (understanding); by 
Lajja, Vinaya (good behaviour) ; by Vapus, Vyavasaya 
(perseverance). Santi gave birth to Kshema (pro- 
sperity); Siddhi, to Sukha (enjoyment); and Kirtti, to 

and disposed of in most of the Puranas which notice them. The 
Bhagavata, having introduced a third daughter of Swayamhhuva, 
has a rather different enumeration, in order to assign some of 
them, the wives of the Prajapatis, to Kardama and Devahiiti. 
Daksha had, therefore, it is there said (b. IV. c. 1), sixteen 
daughters, thirteen of whom were married to Dharma, named 
Sraddha, Maitri (friendship). Day a (clemency), Santi, Tushti, 
Pushti, Kriya, Unnati (elevation), Buddhi, Medha, Titiksha (pa- 
tience), Hri (modesty), Murti (form); and three, Sati. Swaha, 
and Swadha, married, as in our text. Some of the daughters of 
Devahiiti repeat these appellations; but that is of slight con- 
sideration. They are: Kala (a moment), married to Marichi; 
Anasuya, to Atri; Sraddha, to Angiras; Havirbhu (oblation-born), 
to Pulastya; Gati (movement), to Pulaha; Kriya, to Kratu; 
Khyati, to Bhfigu; Arundhati, to Vasishtha; and Santi, toAthar- 
van. f In all these instances, the persons are, manifestly, alle- 
gorical , being personifications of intelligences and virtues and 
religious rites, and being, therefore, appropriately wedded to the 
probable authors of the Hindu code of religion and morals, or 
to the equally allegorical representation of that code, Dharma, 
moral and religious duty. 

* In the original, Chala. 

t The Bktgavata-purdm, in the texts that I have examined, pairs 
(jrja mih. Yasisht'ha, and Chitti with Atharvau. 

BOOK I., CHAP. Vir. Ill 

Yasas (reputation).^ Tliese were the sons of'Dliarma; 
one of whom, Kama, had Harsha (joy) by his wife 
Nandi (deUght). 

The wife of Adharma" (vice) was Himsa (violence), 
on whom he begot a son, Anrita (falsehood), and a 
daughter, Nikriti (immorality). They intermarried, and 
had two sons, Bhaya (fear) and Naraka (hell); and 

' The same remark applies here. The Puranas that give 
these details generally concur with our text. But the Bhiigavata 
specifies the progeny ofDharma in a somewhat different manner; 
or, following the order observed in the list of Dharma's wives, 
their children are : Rita* (truth), Prasada (favour), Abhaya (fear- 
lessness), Sukha, Muda (pleasure), Smaya (wonder), Yoga (de- 
votion), Darpa, Artha (meaningf), Smfiti (memory), Kshema, 
Prasraya (affection), and the two saints Nara and Narayaria, the 
sons of Dharma by Murti. We have occasional varieties of nomen- 
clature in other authorities; as, instead of Sruta, Sama; Kiirma 
Puraria: instead of Daridanaya, Samaya; and, instead of Bodha, 
Apramada; Linga Purana : and Siddha, in place of Sukha: Kurma 

^ The text rather abruptly introduces Adharma and his family. 
He is said, by the commentator, to be the son of Brahma; and 
the Linga Puraria enumerates him amongst the Prajapatis, as well 
as Dharma. According to the Bhagavata, he is the husband of 
Mrisha (falsehood), and the father of Dambha (hypocrisy) and 
Maya (deceit), who were adopted by Nin'iti. The series of their 
descendants is, also, somewhat varied from our text; being, in 
each descent, however, twins, which intermarry, or: Lobha (cove- 
tousness) and Nikriti, who produce Krodha (wrath) and Hiriisti: 
their children are Kali (wickedness) and Durukti (evil speech): 
their progeny are Mrityu and Bhf (fear); whose offspring are 
Niraya (hell) and Yatana (torment). 

* The MSS. which I have inspected give Snbha, "felicity", 

t ? 


twins to them, two daughters, Maya (deceit) and Ve- 
dana (torture), who became then* wives. The son of 
Bhaya and Maya was the destroyer of hving creatures, 
orMrityu (death); andDuhkha (pain) was the offspring 
of Naraka* and Vedana. The children of Mrityu were: 
Vyadhi (disease), Jara (decay), Soka (sorrow), Trishna 
(greediness), and Krodha (wrath). These are all called 
the inflictors of misery, and are characterized as the 
progeny of Vice f (Adharma).t They are all without 
wives, without posterity, without the faculty to pro- 
create. They are the terrific forms of Vishnu, and 
perpetually operate as causes of the destruction of this 
world. On the contrary, Daksha and the other Rishis,§ 
the elders of mankind, tend perpetually to influence 
its renovation; whilst the Manus and their sons,! the 
heroes endowed with mighty power, and treading in 
the path of truth, as constantly contribute to its pre- 

Maitreya. — Tell me, Brahman, what is the essential 
nature of these revolutions, perpetual preservation, 
perpetual creation, and perpetual destruction. 

Parasara. — Madhusudana, whose essence is incom- 
prehensible, in the forms of these (patriarchs and 
Manus), is the author of the uninterrupted vicissitudes 
of creation, preservation, and destruction. The dissolu- 

* Raurava, in the original. 

f ^T\t4^^^I1< 5 "essentially vicious". The commentator says: 

+ For some additions, including Niriiti and Alakshmi, see the Mdr- 
kui'idetja-purdna, L., 33, et seij. 

§ Four are named in the Sanskrit: Daksha, Marichi, Atri, and Bhrigu. 
II An epithet is here omitted: hhupa, "kings". 

BOOK I., CHAP. VII. 113 

tion of all things is of four kinds: Naimittika,* 'occa- 
sional'; Prakfitika, 'elemental'; Atyantika, 'absolute'; 
Nitya, 'perpetual'.^ The first, also termed the Brahma 

' The three first of these are more particularly described iu 
the last book. The last, the Nitya or constant, is differently 
described by Colonel Vans Kennedy (Researches into the Nature 
and Affinity of Ancient and Hindu Mythology, p. 224, note). "In 
the seventh chapter, however", he observes, "of the first part of 
the Vishnu Parana, it is said that the namittika, prdkritika, utijan- 
tika , and nitya are the four kinds of pralaya to which created 
things are subject. The naimittika takes place when Brahma 
slumbers ; the prdkritika, when this universe returns to its original 
nature ; atyantika proceeds from divine knowledge, and consequent 
identification with the supreme spirit; and nitya is the extinction 
of life, like the extinction of a lamp, in sleep at night." For this 
last characteristic, however, our text furnishes no warrant. Nor 
can it be explained to signify, that the Nitya Pralaya means no 
moi'e than "a man's falling into sound sleep at night". All the 
copies consulted on the present occasion concur in reading: 

as rendered above. The conniientator supplies the illustration, 
^"q^ Ml'^f^ I 'like the fiame of a lamp'; but he also writes: 
^TfH'ft f^Tf^lf ■'fr f^^W' ^ f%^: I 'That which is the 
destruction of all that are born, night and day, is the Nitya or 
constant.' Again, in a verse presently following, we have the 
Nitya Sarga, 'constant or perpetual creation', as opposed to con- 
stant dissolution: 

'That in which, O excellent sages, beings are daily born, is termed 
constant creation, by those learned in the Puraiias.' The com- 
mentator explains this: ^IT^^Tf^^fHlT^Tit f^^ Ts^\ I 
'The constant flow or succession of the creation of ourselves and 
other creatures is the Nitya or constant creation. This is the 

* See the editor's note in p. 52, supra. 


dissolution , occurs when the sovereign of the world 
reclines in sleep. In the second, the mundane egg 
resolves into the primary element, from whence it was 
derived. Absolute non-existence of the world is the 
absorption of the sage,* through knowledge, into su- 
preme spirit. Perpetual destruction is the constant 
disappeaj-ance, day and night, of all that are born. The 
productions of Prakriti form the creation that is termed 
the elemental (Prakrita). That which ensues after a 
minor dissolution is called ephemeral creation; and 
the daily generation of living things is termed, by those 
who are versed in the Puranas, constant creation. In 
this manner, the mighty Vishnu, w^hose essence is the 
elements, abides in all bodies, and brings about pro- 
duction, existence, and dissolution. f The faculties of 
Vishnu, to create, to preserve, and to destroy, operate 
successively, Maitreya, in all corporeal beings, and at 
all seasons; and he who frees himself from the influence 
of these three faculties, which are essentially composed 
of the three qualities (goodness, foulness, and darkness), 
goes to the supreme sphere, from whence he never 
again returns. 

meaning of the text.' It is obvious, therefore, that the alternation 
intended is that of life and death, not of waking and sleep. 

* Yogin. 
■\ Saihyama. 


Origin of Rudra: his becoming eight Rudras: their wives and 
children. The posterity of Bhfigu. Account of Sri in conjunc- 
tion with Vishnu. (Sacrifice of Daksha.) 

Parasara. — I have described to you, great Muni, 
the creation of Brahma in which the quahty of dark- 
ness prevailed. I will now explain to you the creation 
of Rudra. ^ 

In the beginning of the Kalpa, as Brahma purposed 
to create a son, who should be like himself, a youth 
of a purple complexion^ appeared; crying with a low 
cry, and running about. ^ Brahma, when he beheld him 
thus afflicted, said to him: ''Why dost thou weep?" 
"Give me a name", replied the boy. "Rudra be thy 
name", rejoined the great father of all creatures: "be 
composed; desist from tears." But, thus addressed, 

' The creation of Rudra has been ah-eady adverted to; and 
that seems to be the primitive form of the legend. We have, 
here, another account, grounded, apparently, upon Saiva or Yoga 

^ The appearance of Rudra as a Kumara, 'a boy', is described, 
as of repeated occurrence, in the Linga and Vayu Puraiias , as 
already noticed (pp. 7G, et seq.) ; and these Kumaras are of different 
complexions in different Kalpas. In the Vaishiiava Puranas, 
however, we have only one original form, to which the name of 
Nilalohita, 'the blue and red or purple complexioned', is assigned. 
In the Kurma, this youth comes from Brahma's mouth; in the 
Vayu, from his forehead. 

^ This is the Pauranik etymology: 0<^''l^^nTr%^ ^^1 I 
or Rud, 'to weep', and Dru, 'to run'. The grammarians derive 
the name from Rud, 'to weep', with Rak affix. 



the boy still wept seven times; and Brahma therefore 
o;ave to him seven other denominations: and to these 
eight persons regions and wives and posterity belong. 
The eight manifestations, then, are named Rudra, 
Bhava, Sarva, Isana, Pasupati, Bhima, Ugra, and Maha- 
deva, which were given to them by their great pro- 
genitor.* He also assigned to them their respective 
stations, the sun, water, earth, air, fire,f ether, the 
ministrant Brahman, and the moon.; for these are their 
several forms. ^ The wives of the sun and the other 

' The Vayu details the application of each name severally. 
These eight Rudras are, therefore, but one, under as many ap- 
pellations, and in as many types. The Padma, Markaiideya, 
Ktirma, Linga, and Vayu agree with our text in the nomenclature 
of the Rudras, and their types, their wives, and progeny. The 
types are those which are enumerated in the Nandi or opening 
benedictory verse of Sakuntala; and the passage of the Vishnu 
Parana was found , by M. Chezy , on the envelope of his copy. 
He has justly corrected Sir William Jones's version of the term 
^■^, 'the sacrifice is performed with solemnity'; as the word 
means, 'Brahmane officiant', ^f^jft WTWW« I 't^^ Brahman 
who is qualified, by initiation (Dikslia), to conduct the rite.' These 
are considered as the bodies, or visible forms, of those modifica- 
tions of Rudra which are variously named, and which, being 
praised in them , severally abstain from harming them : rf^ 
^3?!^ ^^: ^TRi: I <^5^*jJIj4 ff^Tf% t I Vayu Purana. 
The Bhagavata, III., 12, 11-13, has a difierent scheme, as 
usual; but it confounds the notion of the eleven Rudras, to 
whom the text subsequently adverts, with that of the eight 

* See an almost identical passage, from the Mdrka/icieya-purdi'ia, LII., 2, 
et seq., translated in Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., p. 286. 

t In most MSS. seen by me the order is "fire, air"; and so in other 
Purai'ias than the Vishuu. 

BOOK I., CHAP. viir. 117 

manifestations, termed Rudra and the rest, were, re- 
spectively: Suvarcbala, Usha,* Vikesi, Siva, Swaha, 
Disas, Diksha, and Rohini. Now hear an account of 
their progeny, by whose successive generations this 
world has been peopled. Their sons, then, were, seve- 
rally: Sanaischara (Saturn), Sukra (Venus), the fiery- 
bodied f (Mars), Manojava (Hanumatt), Skanda, 
Swarga,§ Santana, and Budha (Mercury). 

It was the Rudra of this description that married 
Sati, who abandoned her corporeal existence in con- 
sequence of the displeasure of Daksha. ^ She after- 

here specified. These eleven it terms Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, 
Mahat, Siva, Ritadhwaja, || Ugraretas, Bhava, Kala, Vamadeva, 
and Dhritavrata; their wives are Dhi, Dhi'iti , Rasaloma, Niyut, 
SarpijH Ila, Ambika, Iravati, Swadha, Diksha, Rudrai'ii; and their 
places are the heart, senses, breath, ether, air, fire, water, earth, 
sun, moon, and tapas or ascetic devotion. The same allegory or 
mystification characterizes both accounts, 

' See the story of Daksha's sacrifice at the end of the chapter. 

* Several of the MSS. inspected by me have Swavarchala and Uma. 
The Mdrkandeya-piird/ia, LII., 9, has Uma, 
f Lohitdnga. 

I The commentator says that Manojava is "a certain wind". Hanu- 
mat is called, however, Anilatmaja, Pavanatanaya, Vayuputra, &c., "Son 
of the Wind"; and Marntwat, 

§ Some MSS. have Sarga; and so has the 31drkaMeya-piird/ia, LII., 11, 

II The Bombay editions of the Bhdgavata-purd/'ia have Kratudhwaja, 

"Dhi, Dhriti , Usana, Uma, Niyut, Sarpi, 11a, Ambika, Iravati, Sudha, 
and Diksha, the Rudraiiis, are thy wives, Rudra." 

Yfitti is a variant, of common occurrence, for Dhi'iti. "Rasaloma" 
and "Swadha" are not found in any MS. that I have seen, Sarpi must 
be feminine. Sarpis would be neuter. 


wards was the daughter of Himavat (the snowy mount- 
ains) by Mena; and, in that character, as the only Uma, the 
mighty Bhava again married her\* The divinities Dhatri 
and Vidhati'i were born to Bhrigu by Khyati ; as was a 
daughter, Sri, the wife of Narayaha, the god of gods.^ 

Maitreya. — It it commonly said that the goddess 
Sri was born from the sea of milk, when it was churned 
for ambrosia. How, then, can you say that she was 
the daughter of Bhrigu by Khyati? 

Parasara. — Sri, the bride of Vishnu, the mother of 
the world, is eternal, imperishable. In like manner as 
he is all-pervading, so also is she, best of Brahmans, 
omni]3resent. Vishnu is meaning; she is speech. Hari 
is polity (Naya); she is prudence (Niti). Vishnu is 
understanding; she is intellect. He is righteousness; 
she is devotion. He is the creator; she is creation. 
Sri is the earth; Hari, the support of it. The deity is 
content; the eternal Lakshmi is resignation. He is 
desire; Sri is wish. He is sacrifice; she is sacrificial 
donation (Dakshiha). The goddess is the invocation 
which attends the oblation ;f Janardana is the obla- 

' The story of Uma's birth and marriage occurs in the Siva 
Parana, and in the Kasi Kharida of the Skanda Puraria: it is 
noticed briefly, and with some variation from the Purarias, in the 
Raraayana, first book: it is also given, in detail, in the Kumiira 
Sambhava of Kalidasa. 

^ The family of Bhrigu is more particularly described in the 
tenth chapter. It is here mentioned merely to introduce the story 
of the birth of the goddess of prosperity, Sri. 

* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., p. 324. 
t For " the invocation which attends the oblation ", read "the oblation 
of clarified butter", djydhuti, not djydhuti. 

BOOK I., CHAP. viir. 119 

tion. * Lakshmi is the chamber where the females are 
present (at a rehgious ceremony); Madhusudana, the 
apartment of the males of the family. Lakshmi is the 
altar; Hari, the stake (to which the victim is bound). 
Sri is the fuel; Hari, the holy grass (Kusa). He is the 
personified Sama-veda; the goddess, lotos-throned, is 
the tone of its chanting, f Lakshmi is the prayer of 
oblation (Swaha); Vasudeva, the lord of the world, is 
the sacrificial fire. Sauri (Vishnu) is Sankara (Siva); 
and Srit is the bride of Siva (Gauri). Kesava, Mai- 
treya, is the sun; and his radiance is the lotos-seated 
goddess. Vishnu is the tribe of progenitors (Pitfigana); 
Padma is their bride (Swadha), the eternal bestower 
of nutriment. § Sri is the heavens; Vishnu, who is one 
with all things, is wide-extended space. The lord of 
Sri is the moon; she is his unfading light. She is called 
the moving principle of the world; he, the wind which 
bloweth everywhere. Govinda is the ocean; Lakshmi, 
its shore. Lakshmi is the consort of Indra (Indrarii); 
Madhusudana is Devendra. The holder of the discus 
(Vishnu) is Yama (the regent of Tartarus); the lotos- 
throned goddess is his dusky spouse (Dhiimorna). Sri 
is wealth; Sridhara (Vishnu) is, himself, the god of 
riches (Kubera). Lakshmi, illustrious Brahman, is 
Gauri; and Kesava is the deity of ocean (Varuna). Sri 

* To render puroddsa, "a sacrificial cake of ground rice". See Cole- 
brooke's Two Treatises on the Hindu Law of Inheritance, p. 234, first 
annotation, and p. 337, second annotation. 

t "The tone of its chanting", udgiti. 

X Here called Bhiiti, in several of the MSS. I have examined. 

§ Most of the MSS. consulted by rae have, not in^^^fS^T) "the 
eternal bestower of nutriment", but l^^fJ^fS^T? "the perpetual be- 
stower of contentment". 


is the host of heaven (Devasena); the deity of war, her 
lord, is Hari. The wiekler of the mace is resistance; 
the power to oppose is Sri. Lakshmi is the Kashtha 
and the Kala; Hari, the Nimesha and the Muhurta. 
Lakshmi is the hght; and Hari, who is all, and lord of 
all, the lamp. She, the mother of the world, is the 
creeping vine; and Vishnu, the tree round which she 
clings. She is the night; the god who is armed with 
the mace and discus is the day. He, the bestower of 
blessings, is the bridegroom; the lotos-throned goddess 
is the bride. The god is one with all male, the goddess 
one with all female, rivers. The lotos-eyed deity is the 
standard; the goddess seated on a lotos, the banner. 
Lakshmi is cupidity; Narayana, the master of the world, 
is covetousness. thou who knowest what righteous- 
ness is, Govinda is love; and Lakshmi, his gentle 
spouse,* is pleasure. f But why thus diffusely enume- 
rate their presence? It is enough to say, in a word, 
that, of gods, animals, and men, Hari is all that is called 
male; Lakshmi is all that is termed female. There is 
nothing else than they. 


(From the Viiyu Purjiria.) 
"There was formerly a peak of Meru, named Savitra, 
abounding with gems, radiant as the sun, and celebrated 

' The sacrifice of Daksha is a legend of some interest, from 
its historical and archaeological relations. It is, obviously, intended 

* There is nothing, in the MSS. I have seen, answering to "his gentle 
spouse". -j- Rdga, "love"'; rati, "pleasure". 


throughout the three workls; of mimense extent, and 
difficult of access, and an object of universal veneration. 
Upon that glorious eminence, rich vv^ith mineral trea- 
sures, as upon a splendid couch, the deity Siva reclined, 
accompanied by the daughter of the sovereign of 
mountains, and attended by the mighty Adityas, the 
powerful Vasus, and by the heavenly physicians, the 

to intimate a struggle between the worshippei'S of Siva and of 
Vishnu, in which, at first, the latter, but, finally, the former, 
acquired the ascendancy. It is, also, a favourite subject of Hindu 
sculpture, at least with the Hindus of the Saiva division, and 
makes a conspicuous figure both at Elephanta and EUora. A re- 
presentation of the dispersion and mutilation of the gods and 
sages by Virabhadra, at the former, is published in the Archjeo- 
logia, Vol. VII., 326, where it is described as the Judgment of 
Solomon! A figure of Virabhadra is given by Niebuhr, Vol. II., 
tab. 10; and the entire group, in the Bombay Transactions, Vol. I., 
p. 220. It is described , p. 229 : but Mr. Erskine has not verified 
the subject, although it cannot admit of doubt. The group de- 
scribed, p. 224, probably represents the introductory details given 
in our text. Of the Ellora sculptures, a striking one occurs in 
what Sir C. Malet calls the Doomar Leyna cave, where is "Veer 
Budder, with eight hands. In one is suspended the slain Rajah 
Dutz." A. R. Vol. VI. , 396. And there is also a representation 
of 'Ehr Budr' in one of the colonnades of Kailas ; being, in fact, 
the same figure as that at Elephanta. Bombay Tr., Vol. III., 287. 
The legend of Daksha, therefore, was popular when those cavern 
temples were excavated. The story is told in much more detail 
in several other Puranas, and with some variations, which will 
be noticed : but the above has been selected as a specimen of the 
style of the Vayu Purana , and as being a narration which, from 
its inartificial, obscure, tautological, and uncircumstantial con- 
struction, is, probably, of an ancient date. The same legend, in 
the same words, is given in the Brahma Purana. 


sons of Aswini; by Kubera,* surrounded by his train 
of Guhyakas, the lord of the Yakshas, who dwells on 
Kailasa. There also was the great Muni Usanas : there 
were Rishis of the first order, with Sanatkumara at 
their head; divine Rishis, preceded by Angiras; Viswa- 
vasu, with his bands of heavenly choristers; the sages 
Narada and Parvata; and innumerable troops of ce- 
lestial nymphs. The breeze blew upon the mountain, 
bland, pure, and fragrant; and the trees were decorated 
with flowers that blossomed in every season. The 
Vidyadharas and Siddhas, affluent in devotion, waited 
upon Mahadeva, the lord of living creatures ;f and 
many other beings, of various forms, did him homage. 
Rakshasas of terrific semblance, and Pisachas of great 
strength , of different shapes and features, armed with 
various weapons, and blazing like fire, were delighted 
to be present, as the followers of the god. There stood 
the royal Nandin, I high in the favour of his lord, armed 
with a fiery trident, § shining with inherent lustre; and 
there the best of rivers, Ganga, the assemblage of all 
holy waters,! stood adoring the mighty deity. Thus 
worshipped by all the most excellent of sages and of 
gods, abode the omnipotent and all-glorioust Mahadeva. 
"In former times Daksha commenced a holy sacri- 
fice on the side of Himavat, at the sacred spot Ganga- 

* In the original, Yaisravana. 

f Pasupati: rather, "lord of sacrificial animals"; and so in p. 125, 1. 3. 

* In the Sanskrit, Nandiswara. 

§ i^ula, "a pike"; and so wherever "trident" occurs in the present 
extract from the Vayu-purdiia. 

II The more literal rendering ■would be : "rising from the water of all holy 
places situate on streams": tl4nl>^^^-^^ I I 

H Instead of "omnipotent and all-glorious", read "divine", bhagavat. 


dwara, frequented by the Risliis. The gods, desirous 
of assisting at this solemn rite, came, with Indra* at 
their head, to Mahadeva, and intimated their purpose, 
and, having received his permission, departed, in their 
splendid chariots, to Gangadwara, as tradition reports.^ 
They found Daksha, the best of the devout, surrounded 
by the singers and nymphs of heaven, and by numerous 
sages, beneath the shade of chistering trees and climb- 
ing plants ; and all of them, whether dwellers on earth, 
in air, or in the regions above the skies, approached 
the patriarch with outward gestures of respect. The 
Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, f Maruts, all entitled to partake 
of the oblations, together with Jishnu, were present. 
The (four classes of Pitris) Ushmapas, Somapas, Ajya- 
pas, and Dhiimapas, (or those who feed upon the flame, 
the acid juice, the butter, or the smoke of ofierings), 
the Aswins, and the progenitors, came along with 
Brahma. Creatures of every class, born from the womb, 
the egg, from vapour, or vegetation, came upon their 
invocation; as did all the gods, with their brides, wdio, 
in their resplendent vehicles, blazed like so many fires. 

' Or this may be understood to imply, that the original story 
is in the Vedas; the term being, as usual in such a reference, 
^f?I ^f^TI I Gangt'uhvara, the place where the Ganges descends 
to the plains — or Haridwar, as it is more usually termed — is 
usually specified as the scene of action. The Linga is more 
precise, calling it Kanakhala, which is the village still called 
Kankhal, near Haridwar (Megha Duta, p. 59). It rather inaccu- 
rately, however, describes this as upon Hamsa peak, a point of 
the Himalaya: f^% tf^^t^^T; I 

* The Sanskrit has Kratu. 
t Add Sadhyas. 


Beholding them thus assembled, the sage Dadhicha 
was filled with indignation, and observed: 'The man 
who worships what ought not to be worshipped, or 
pays not reverence where veneration is due, is guilty, 
most assuredly, of heinous sin.' Then, addressing 
Daksha, he said to him: 'Why do you not offer homage 
to the god who is the lord of life'* (Pasubhartri)?' 
Daksha spake: 'I have already many Rudras present, 
armed with tridents, wearing braided hair, and existing 
in eleven forms. I recognize no other Mahadeva.' 
Dadhicha spake : 'The invocation that is not addressed to 
Isa is, for all, but a solitary (and imperfect) summons. 
Inasmuch as I behold no other divinity who is superior 
to Sankara, this sacrifice of Daksha will not be com- 
pleted.' f Daksha spake: 'I offer, in a golden cup, this 
entire oblation, which has been consecrated by many 
prayers, as an offering ever due to the unequalled 
Vishnu, + the sovereign lord of all.'^ 

' The Kiirma Puraiia gives also this discussion between 
Dadhicha and Daksha; and their dialogue contains some curious 
matter. Daksha, for instance, states that no portion of a sacrifice 
is ever allotted to Siva, and no prayers are directed to be addres- 
sed to him, or to his bride: 

* Rather, "the guardian of animals lit for sacrifice". 

For the text, from the Mahdbhdrata , of a passage nearly identical 
with that in which these verses occur, accompanied by a very different 
rendering from that given above, see Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., 
pp. 314, et seq. 

X The epithet makheSa, "lord of sacrifice", is here omitted. 


"In the meanwhile the virtuous daughter of the 
mountain king, observing the departure of the divini- 
ties, addressed her lord, the god of Hving beings, and 
said — Uma spake — 'Whither, lord, have the gods, 
preceded by Indra,"" this day departed? Tell me truly, 

^*%'^ t% iT%^ ^ ^tt: xrft^Rf^ri: i 

Dadhicha apparently evades the objection, and claims a share for 
Rudra, consisting of the triad of gods, as one with the sun, who 
is , undoubtedly , hymned by the several ministering priests of 
the Vedas : 

Daksha replies that the twelve Adityas receive special oblations; 
that they are all the suns ; and that he knows of no other. The 
Munis, who overhear the dispute, concur in his sentiments : 

^ ^^T Tt^ %^T T w^ t%^^ Tf%: II 
il^^w g ^^: ^^T^TfTT f^f ^^: I 
^T^f^n?!^^^^ cT"^ ^WT^^Tftw: II 

These notions seem to have been exchanged for others, in the 
days of the Padma Purana and Bhagavata; as they place Daksha's 
neglect of Siva to the latter's filthy practices, — his going naked, 
smearing himself with ashes, carrying a skull, and behaving as if 
he were drunk or crazed; alluding, no doubt, to the practices of 
Saiva mendicants, who seem to have abounded in the days of 
Sankara Acharya, and since. There is no discussion in the Bha- 
gavata; but Rudra is described as present at a former assembly, 
when his father-in-law censured him before the guests, and, in 
consequence, he departed in a rage. Plis follower Nandinf curses 
the company; and Bhi'igu retorts in language descriptive of the 
Vamjicharins or left hand worshippers of Siva. "May all those", 

* Sakra, in the original, 
t Naudiswara. 


thou who knowest all truth ; for a great doubt per- 
plexes me.' Maheswara spake: 'Illustrious goddess, 
the excellent patriarch Daksha celebrates the sacrifice 
of a horse; and thither the gods repair.' Devi spake: 
'Why, then, most mighty god, dost thou also not pro- 
ceed to this solemnity? By what hinderance is thy 
progress thither impeded?' Maheswara spake: 'This 
is the contrivance, mighty queen, of all the gods, that, 
in all sacrifices, no portion should be assigned to me. 
In consequence of an arrangement formerly devised, 
the gods alloM^ me, of right, no participation of sacrificial 
offerings.' Devi spake: 'The lord god lives in all bodily 
forms;* and his might is eminent through his superior 
faculties. He is unsurpassable, he is unapproachable, in 
splendour and glory and power. That such as he should 
be excluded from his share of oblations fills me with 
deep sorrow; and a trembling, sinless, seizes upon 

be says,f "who adopt the worship of Bhava (Siva), all those 
who follow the practices of his worshippers, become heretics, and 
oppugners of holy doctrines. May they neglect the observances 
of purification; may they be of infirm intellects, wearing clotted 
hair, and ornamenting themselves with ashes and bones ; and may 
they enter the Saiva initiation, in which spirituous liquor is the 

* Professor Wilson doubtless read ^q^'^H : but the MSS. which I 
have consulted give ^f^'^^H, '4u all the gods", 
t Bhdyavata-purdna, IV., 2, 28—29: 

^^WfT^TT ^ ^ ^ ^ fTp^m^rn: i 
tiTT^fn^w ^^^ w^^T^^fr^^^' II 
Ts^n^ i|^^ w^TH^Tfwmfr^ : I 
f^^^ t^^^'Rn ^^ t^ irra^^ ii 

This passage will be found translated in Original Sanskrit Texts, 
Part IV., p. 321. 


my frame. Shall I now practise bounty, restraint, or 
penance, so that my lord, who is inconceivable, may 
obtain a share, — a half, or a third portion, — of the 
sacrifice ? ' ^ 

"Then the mighty and incomprehensible deity, being 
pleased, said to his bride, thus agitated and speaking: 
'Slender-waisted queen of the gods, thou knowest not 
the purport of what thou sayest. But I know it, thou 
with large eyes ; for the holy declare all things by me- 
ditation. By thy perplexity this day are all the gods, 

' This simple account of Sati's share in the transaction is 
consitlerably modified in other accounts. In the Kiirma, the 
quarrel begins with Daksha the patriarch's being, as he thinks, 
treated, by his son-in-law, with less respect than is his due. Upon 
his daughter Sati's subsequently visiting him, he abuses her hus- 
band, and turns her out of his house. She, in spite, destroys 
herself: ^QrT^T(3n«I'nHI^T I Siva, hearing of this, comes to 
Daksha, and curses him to be born as a Kshatriya, the son of 
the Prachetasas, and to beget a son on his own daughter: 

It is in this subsequent birth that the sacrifice occurs. The Linga 
and Matsya allude to the dispute between Daksha and Sati, and 
to the latter's putting an end to herself by Yoga: 

The Padma, Bhagavata, and Skanda, — in the Kasi Khaiida, — 
relate the dispute between father and daughter in a like manner, 
and in more detail. The first refers the death of Sati, however, 
to a prior period; and that and the Bhagavata both ascribe it to 

The Kasi Kharida, with an improvement indicative of a later age, 
makes Sati throw herself into the fire prepared for the solemnity. 

* Bhdgavata-purdna, IV., 4, 27. 


with Mahendra and all the three worlds, utterly con- 
founded. In my sacrifice, those who worship me repeat 
my praises, and chant the Rathantara song of theSama- 
veda. My priests worship me in the sacrifice of true 
wisdom, where no officiating Brahman is needed; and, 
in this, they offer me my portion.'" Devi spake: 'The 
lord is the root of all, f and, assuredly, in every assem- 
blage of the female world, praises or hides himself at 
will.' Mahtideva spake: 'Queen of the gods, I praise 
not myself. Approach, and behold whom I shall create 
for the purpose of claiming my share of the rite.' 

"Having thus spoken to his beloved spouse, the 
mighty Maheswara created, from his mouth, a being 
like the fire of fate; t a divine being, with a thousand 
heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet; wielding a 
thousand clubs, a thousand shafts; holding the shell, 
the discus, the mace, and bearing a blazing bow and 
battle-axe; § fierce and terrific, shining with dreadful 
splendour, and decorated with the crescent moon; 
clothed in a tiger's skin dripping with blood, having a 
capacious stomach , and a vast mouth armed with for- 
midable tusks. His ears were erect; his lips were pen- 
dulous; his tongue was lightning; his hand brandished 
the thunder bolt; flames streamed from his hair; a 
necklace of pearls wound round his neck; a garland of 
flame descended on his breast. Radiant with lustre, 
he looked like the final fire that consumes the world. 
Four tremendous tusks projected from a mouth which 

* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., p. 316, note 281. 
f Suprdkriia. 

X Kdldgni. Some MSS. have krodhdgni, "the fire of wrath". 
§ Add "sword'', asi. 


extended from ear to ear. He was of vast bulk, vast 
strength, a mighty male and lord, the destroyer of the 
universe, and like a large fig-tree in circumference; 
shining like a hundred moons at once; fierce as the 
fire of love; having four heads, sharp white teeth, and 
of mighty fierceness, vigour, activity, and courage; 
glowing with the blaze of a thousand fiery suns at the 
end of the world; like a thousand undimmed moons; 
in bulk, like Himadri, Kailasa, or Sumeru, or Mandara, 
with all its gleaming herbs; bright as the sun of de- 
struction at the end of ages; of irresistible prowess 
and beautiful aspect; irascible, with lowering eyes, and 
a countenance burning like fire; clothed in the hide of 
the elephant and lion,* and girt round with snakes; 
wearing a turban on his head, a moon on his brow; 
sometimes savage, sometimes mild; having a chaplet 
of many flowers on his head, anointed with various 
unguents, adorned with different ornaments and many 
sorts of jewels, wearing a garland of heavenly Karni- 
kara flowers, and rolling his eyes with rage. Sometimes 
he danced; sometimes he laughed aloud; sometimes 
he stood wrapt in meditation ; sometimes he trampled 
upon the earth; sometimes he sang; sometimes he 
wept repeatedly. And he was endowed with the facul- 
ties of wisdom, dispassion, power, penance, truth, en- 
durance, fortitude, dominion, and self-knowledge. 

" This being then knelt down upon the ground, and, 
raising his hands respectfully to his head, said to 
Mahadeva: 'Sovereign of the gods, command what it 

* The original, in the MSS. known to me, is ^^'''I^'SrfTT'^^ff'I , in 
the accusative. That is to say, there is no mention of "the elephant". 


is that I must do for thee'; to which Maheswara re- 
pHed: 'Spoil the sacrifice of Daksha.' Then the mighty 
Virabhadra, having heard the pleasure of his lord, 
bowed down his head to the feet of Prajapati," and, 
starting like a lion loosed from bonds, despoiled the 
sacrifice of Daksha; knowing that he had been created 
by the displeasure of Devi. She, too, in her wrath, as 
the fearful goddess Rudrakali, accompanied him, with 
all her train, to witness his deeds. Virabhadra, the 
fierce, abiding in the region of ghosts, is the minister 
of the anger of Devi. And he then created, from the 
pores of his skin, powerful demigods, f the mighty 
attendants upon Rudra, of equal valour and strength, 
who started, by hundreds and thousands, into existence. 
Then a loud and confused clamour filled all the ex- 
panse of ether, and inspired the denizens of heaven 
with dread. The mountains tottered, and earth shook; 
the winds roared, and the depths of the sea were dis- 
turbed; the fires lost their radiance, and the sun grew 
pale; the planets of the firmament shone not, neither 
did the stars give light; the Rishis ceased their hymns, 
and gods and demons were mute; and thick darkness 
eclipsed the chariots of the skies. ^ + 

" Then from the gloom emerged fearful and numer- 
ous forms, shouting the cry of battle; who instantly 

^ The description of Virabhadra and his followers is given in 
other Puranas, in the same strain, but with less detail. 

* In the original, Umapati. 

f The original calls them Raumas: 

^ Hereai)outs the translation is souiewbat free. 


broke or overturned the sacrificial columns, trampled 
upon the altars, and danced amidst the oblations. 
Running wildly hither and thither, with the speed of 
wind, they tossed about the implements and vessels 
of sacrifice, which looked like stars precipitated from 
the heavens. The piles of food and beverage for the 
gods, which had been heaped up like mountains; the 
rivers of milk; the banks of curds and butter; the sands 
of honey, and butter-milk, and sugar; the mounds of 
condiments and spices of every flavour; the undulating 
knolls of flesh and other viands; the celestial liquors, 
pastes, and confections, which had been prepared; these 
the spirits of wrath devoured, or defiled, or scattered 
abroad. Then, falling upon the host of the gods, these 
vast and resistless Rudras beat or terrified them, mocked 
and insulted the nymphs and goddesses, and quickly 
put an end to the rite, although defended by all the 
gods; being the ministers of Rudra's wrath, and similar 
to himself.^ Some then made a hideous clamour, whilst 
others fearfully shouted, when Yajna was decapitated. 
For the divine Yajna, the lord of sacrifice, then began 
to fly up to heaven, in the shape of a deer; and Vira- 
bhadra, of immeasurable spirit, apprehending his power, 

' Their exploits, and tliose of Virabliadra, are more particu- 
larly specified elsewhere, especially in the Linga, Kiirma, and 
Bhagavata Puratias. Indra is knocked down and trampled on; 
Yaraa has his staff broken; Saraswatf and the "Matris have their 
noses cut off; Mitra or Bhaga has his eyes pulled out; Pushan 
has his teeth knocked down his throat; Chandra is pummelled; 
Vahni's hands are cut off; Bhrigu loses his beard; the Brahmans 
are pelted with stones; the Prajapatis are beaten; and the gods 
and demigods are run through with swords, or stuck with arrows. 



cut off his vast head, after he had mounted mto the 
sky/ Daksha, the patriarch, his sacrifice being de- 
stroyed, overcome with terror, and utterly broken in 
spirit, fell, then, upon the ground, where his head was 
spurned by the feet of the cruel Virabhadra.^ The 
thirty scores* of sacred divinities were all presently 

' This is also mentioned in the Linga and in the Hari Van'isa: 
and the latter thus accounts for the origin of the constellation 
Mrigasiras ; Yajna, with tlie head of a deer, being elevated to the 
planetary region, by Brahma. 

^ As he prays to Siva presently, it could not well be meant, 
here, that Daksha was decapitated, although that is the story in 
other places. The Linga and Bhagavata both state that Vira- 
bhadra cut off Daksha's head , and threw it into the fire. After 
the fray, therefore , when Siva restored the dead to life , and the 
mutilated to their limbs, Daksha's head was not forthcoming. It 
was, therefore, replaced by the head of a goat, or, according to 
the Kasi Kharida, that of a ram. No notice is taken, in our 
text, of the conflict elsewhere described between Virabhadra and 
Vishnu. In the Linga, the latter is beheaded; and his head is 
blown, by the wind, into the fire. The Kiirma, though a Saiva 
Puraria, is less irreverent towards Vishnu, and, after describing 
a contest in which both parties occasionally prevail, makes 
Brahma interpose, and separate the combatants. The Kasi 
Khanda of the Skanda Puraiia describes Vishnu as defeated, and 
at the mercy of Virabhadra, who is prohibited, by a voice from 
heaven, from destroying his antagonist; whilst, in the Hari Variisa, 
Vishnu compels Siva to fly, after taking him by the throat and 
nearly strangling him. The blackness of Siva's neck arose from 
this throttling, and not, as elsewhere described, from his drinking 
the poison produced at the churning of the ocean. 

"Three hundred and thirty millions". The original is: 


bound, with a band of fire, by their Uon-hke foe; and 
they all then addressed him, crying: '0 Rudra, have 
mercy upon thy servants! lord, dismiss thine anger!' 
Thus spake Brahma, and the other gods, and the pa- 
triarch Daksha; and, raising their hands, they said: 
'Declare, mighty being, who thou art.' Virabhadra 
said: 'I am not a god, nor an Aditya; nor am I come 
hither for enjoyment, nor curious to behold the chiefs 
of the divinities. Know that I am come to destroy 
the sacrifice of Daksha, and that I am called Virabha- 
dra, the issue of the wrath of Rudra. Bhadrakali, also, 
who has sprung from the anger of Devi, is sent here, by 
the god of gods, to destroy this rite. Take refuge, king 
of kings, with him who is the lord of Uma. For better 
is the anger of Rudra than the blessings of other gods.' 
" Having heai'd the words of Virabhadra, the right- 
eous Daksha propitiated the mighty god, the holder 
of the trident, Maheswara. The hearth of sacrifice, 
deserted by the Brahman s, had been consumed; Yajna 
had been metamorphosed to an antelope; the fires of 
Rudra's wrath had been kindled; the attendants, 
wounded by the tridents of the servants of the god, 
were groaning with pain; the pieces of the uprooted 
sacrificial posts were scattered here and there; and 
the fragments of the meat-offerings were carried off 
by flights of hungry vultures and herds of howling 
jackals. Suppressing his vital airs, and taking up a 
posture of meditation , the many-sighted victor of his 
foes, Daksha, fixed his eyes everywhere upon his 
thoughts. Then the god of gods appeared from the 
altar, resplendent as a thousand suns, and smiled upon 
him, and said: 'Daksha, thy sacrifice has been destroyed 


through sacred knowledge. I am well pleased with 
thee.' And then he smiled again, and said: 'What shall 
I do for thee? Declare, together with the preceptor 
of the gods.' 

"ThenDaksha, frightened, alarmed, and agitated, 
his eyes suffused with tears, raised his hands reveren- 
tially to his brow, and said: 'If, lord, thou art pleased; 
if I have found favour in thy sight; if I am to be the 
object of thy benevolence; if thou wilt confer upon 
me a boon, this is the blessing I solicit, that all these 
provisions for the solemn sacrifice, which have been 
collected with much trouble, and during a long time, 
and which have now been eaten, drunk, devoured, 
burnt, broken, scattered abroad, may not have been 
prepared in vain.' 'So let it be', replied Hara, the sub- 
duer of Indra.* And thereupon Daksha knelt down 
upon the earth, and praised, gratefully, the author of 
righteousness, the three-eyed god Mahadeva, repeating 
the eight thousand names of the deity whose emblem 
is a bull." 

* Bhaganetra is here used, in the Sanskrit, for "Indra". See the 
article ^^'^T^ in Professor Wilson's Sanskrit Dictionary. 


Legend of Lakshmi. Durviisas gives a garland to Indra: he treats 
it disrespectfully, and is cursed by the Muni. The power of 
the gods impaired: they are oppressed by the Danavas, and 
have recourse to Vishi'iu. The churning of the ocean. Praises 
of Sri. 

Parasara. — But, with respect to the qaestion thou 
hast asked me, Maitreya, relating to the history of Sri, 
hear from me the tale, as it was told to me by Marichi. 

Durvasas, a portion of Sankara (Siva),^ was wander- 
ing over the earth; when he beheld, in the hands of a 
nymph of air,^ a garland of flowers culled from the 
trees of heaven, the fragrant odour of which spread 
throughout the forest, and enraptured all who dwelt 
beneath its shade. The sage, who was then possessed 
by religious phrensy,^ when he beheld that garland, 
demanded it of the graceful and full-eyed nymph, who, 

^ Durvasas was the son of Atri by Anasuya, and was an in- 
carnation of a portion of Siva. 

- A Vidyadhari. These beings, male and female, are spirits 
of an inferior order, tenanting the middle regions of the atmo- 
sphere. According to the Vayu, the garland was given to the 
nymph by Devi. 

^ He observed the Vrata, or vow of insanity, ^^^TtTWcTV*^ I 
equivalent to the ecstasies of some religious fanatics. 'In this 
state', says the commentator, 'even saints are devils': ^f^^ 

* The MSS. of the commentary ■which I have had access to read: 


bowing to him reverentially, immediately presented 
it to him. He, as one frantic, placed the chaplet upon 
his brow, and, thus decorated, resumed his path; when 
he beheld (Indra) the husband of Sachi, the ruler of 
the three worlds, approach, seated on his mfuriated 
elephant, Airavata, and attended by the gods. The 
phrensied sage, taking from his head the garland of 
flowers, amidst which the bees collected ambrosia, 
threw it to the king of the gods, who caught it, and 
suspended it on the brow of Airavata, where it shone 
like the river Jahnavi, glittering on the dark summit 
of the mountain Kailasa."'* The elephant, whose eyes 
were dim with inebriety, and attracted by the smell, 
took hold of the garland with his trunk, and cast it on 
the earth. That chief of sages, Durvasas, was highly 
incensed at this disrespectful treatment of his gift, and 
thus angrily addressed the sovereign of the immortals: 
"Inflated with the intoxication of power, Vasava, 
vile of spirit, thou art an idiot not to respect the gar- 
land I presented to thee, which was the dwelling of 
Fortune (Sri). Thou hast not acknowledged it as a 
largess; thou hast not bowed thyself before me; thou 
hast not placed the wreath upon thy head, with thy 
countenance expanding with delight. Now, fool, for 
that thou hast not infinitely prized the garland that I 
gave thee, thy sovereignity oVer the three worlds shall 
be subverted. Thou confoundest me, Sakra, with other 
Brahmans; and hence I have suffered disrespect from 

The original is simply: 

BOOK I., CHAP. IX. 137 

thy arrogance. But, in like manner as thou hast cast 
the garland I gave thee down on the ground, so shall 
thy dominion over the universe be whelmed in ruin. 
Thou hast offended one whose wrath is dreaded by 
all created things, king of the gods, even me, by thine 
excessive pride." 

Descending hastily from his elephant, Mahendra 
endeavoured to appease the sinless Durvasas. But, to 
the excuses and prostrations of the thousand-eyed, the 
Muni answered : " I am not of a compassionate heart, 
nor is forgiveness congenial to my nature. Other Munis 
may relent; but know me, Sakra, to be Durvasas. Thou 
hast in vain been rendered insolent by Gautama and 
others; for know me, Indra, to be Durvasas, whose 
nature is a stranger to remorse. Thou hast been flat- 
tered by Vasishtha and other tender-hearted saints, 
whose loud praises have made thee so arrogant that 
thou hast insulted me.* But who is there in the uni- 
verse that can behold my countenance, dark with 
frowns, and surrounded by my blazing hair, and not 
tremble? What need of words? I will not forgive, 
whatever semblance of humility thou may est assume." 

Having thus spoken, the Brahman went his way; 
and the king of the gods, remounting his elephant, 
returned to his capital, Amaravati. Thenceforward, 
Maitreya, the three worlds and Sakra lost their vigour; 
and all vegetable products, plants, and herbs were 
withered and died; sacrifices were no longer offered; 
devout exercises no longer practised; men were no 
more addicted to charity, or any moral or religious 

See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I„ p. 95, note. 


obligation; all beings became devoid of steadiness;^ 
all the faculties of sense were obstructed by cupidity; 
and men's desires were excited by frivolous objects. 
Where there is energy* there is prosperity; and upon 
prosperity energy depends. How can those abandoned 
by prosperity be possessed of energy? And without 
energy where is excellence? Without excellence there 
can be no vigour or heroism amongst men. He who 
has neither courage noi- strength will be spurned by 
all; and he who is universally treated with disgrace 
must suffer abasement of his intellectual faculties. 

The three regions being thus wholly divested of 
prosperity, and deprived of energy, the Danavas and 
sons of Diti, the enemies of the gods, who were in- 
capable of steadiness, and agitated by ambition, put 
forth their strength against the gods. They engaged 
in war with the feeble and unfortunate divinities; and 
Indra and the rest, being overcome in fight, fled, for 
refuge, to Brahma, preceded by the god of flame 
(Hutasana). When the great father of the universe 
had heard all that had come to pass, he said to the 
deities : " Repair, for protection, to the god of high and 
low; the tamer of the demons; the causeless cause of 
creation, preservation, and destruction; the progenitor 
of the progenitors ; the immortal, unconquerable Vishnu ; 
the cause of matter and spirit, of his unengendered 
products; the remover of the grief of all who humble 
themselves before him. He will give you aid." Having 

^ They became (f'TJ^T'l)? Nihsattwa; and Sattwa is explained, 
throughout, by Dhairya (^^), 'steadiness', 'fortitude'. 

* Here and below, this represents sattwa. 

BOOK I., CHAP. IX. 1 39 

thus spoken to the deities, Brahma proceeded, along 
with them, to the northern shore of the sea of milk, 
and, with reverential words, thus prayed to the supreme 

" We glorify him who is all things; the lord supreme 
over all; unborn, imperishable; the protector of the 
mighty ones of creation; the unperceived,* indivisible 
Narayaha; the smallest of the smallest, the largest of 
the largest, of the elements; in whom are all things; 
from whom are all things; who was before existence; 
the god who is all beings; who is the end of ultimate 
objects; who is beyond final spirit, and is one with 
supreme soul; who is contemplated, as the cause of 
final liberation, by sages anxious to be free; in whom 
are not the qualities of goodness, foulness, or darkness, 
that belong to undeveloped nature. May that purest 
of all pure spirits this day be propitious to us. May 
that Hari be propitious to us, whose inherent might is 
not an object of the progressive chain of moments, or 
of days, that make up time. May he who is called the 
supreme god, who is not in need of assistance, Hari, 
the soul of all embodied substance, be favourable unto 
us. May that Hari, who is both cause and effect; who 
is the cause of cause, the effect of effect; he who is the 
effect of successive effect; who is the effect of the effect 
of the effect, himself; the product of the effect of the 
effect of the effect, (or elemental substance).^ To him I 
bow. The cause of the cause; the cause of the cause 

' The first effect of primary cause is nature, or Prakriti; the 
effect of the effect, or of Prakriti, is Mahat; effect in the third 

* Aprakdsa; explained, by the commentator, to mean "self-illuminated". 


of the cause; the cause of them all: to him I bow. To 
him who is the enjoy er and thing to be enjoyed; the 
creator and thing to be created; who is the agent and 
the effect: to that supreme being I bow. The infinite 
nature of Vishnu is pure, intelligent, perpetual, unborn, 
undecayable, inexhaustible, inscrutable, immutable; it 
is neither gross nor subtile, nor capable of being de- 
fined: to that ever holy nature of Vishnu I bow\ To 
him whose faculty to create the universe abides in but 
a part of but the ten-millionth part of him; to him who 
is one with the inexhaustible supreme spirit, I bow: 
and to the glorious nature of the supreme Vishnu, 
which nor gods, nor sages, nor I, nor Sankara appre- 
hend; that nature which the Yogins, after incessant 
effort, effacing both moral merit and demerit, behold 
to be contemplated in the mystical monosyllable Om: 
the supreme glory of Vishnu, wdio is the first of all; 
of whom, one only god, the triple energy is the same 
with Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva: lord of all, great 
soul of all, asylum of all, undecayable, have pity upon 
thy servants! Vishnu, be manifest unto us." 

Parasara continued. — The gods, having heard this 
prayer uttered by Brahma, bowed down, and cried: 
"Be favourable to us! Be present to our sight. We 

degree is Ahamkara; in the fourtli, or the effect of the effect 
(Ahamkara) of the effect (Mahat) of the effect (Prakfiti), is ele- 
mentary substance, or Bhuta. Vishnu is each and all. So, in 
the succeeding ascending scale, Brahma is the cause of mortal 
life; the cause of Brahma is the egg, or aggregate elementary 
matter; its cause is, therefore, elementary matter; the cause of 
which is subtile or rudimental matter, which originates from 
Aharhkara; and so on. Vishnu is, also, each and all of these. 

BOOK I., CHAP. IX. 141 

bow down to that glorious nature which the mighty 
Brahma does not know; that which is thy nature, 
imperishable, in whom the universe abides." Then, 
the gods having ended, Brihaspati and the divine 
Rishis thus prayed : " We bow down to the being en- 
titled to adoration; who is the first object of sacrifice; 
who was before the first of things; the creator of the 
creator of the world; the undefinable. lord of all 
that has been or is to be; imperishable type of sacrifice; 
have pity upon thy worshippers! Appear to them pros- 
trate before thee. Here is Brahma; here is Trilochana 
(the three-eyed Siva), with the Rudras; Puslian (the 
sun), with the Adityas; and Fire, with all the mighty 
luminaries.* Here are the sons of Aswini (the two 
Aswini Kumaras), the Vasus and all the winds, the 
Sadhyas, the Viswadevas, andlndra, the king of the 
gods; all of whom bow lowly before thee. All the 
tribes of the immortals, vanquished by the demon host, 
have fled to thee for succour." 

Thus prayed to, the supreme deity, the mighty 
holder of the conch and discus, showed himself to them; 
and, beholding the lord of gods, bearing a shell, a dis- 
cus, and a mace, the assemblage of primeval form, and 
radiant with embodied light, Pitamaha and the other 
deities, their eyes moistened with rapture, first paid 
him homage, and then thus addressed him: "Repeated 
salutation to thee, who art indefinable!. Thou art Brah- 
ma; thou art the wielder of the Pinaka bow (Siva); 
thou art Indra; thou art fire, air, the god of waters, f 

* "Fire, with all its forms": TTT^cfft^^ ''ETfTftrfH: I 

t Varuna, in the original. 


the sun,* the king of death (Yama), the Vasus, the 
Mariits (the winds), the Sadhyas, and Viswadevas. 
This assembly of divinities, that now has come before 
thee, thou art; for, the creator of the world, thou art 
everywhere. Thoa art the sacrifice, the prayer of ob- 
lation, f the mystic syllable Om, the sovereign of all 
creatures. Thou art all that is to be known, or to be 
imknown. universal soul, the whole world consists 
of thee. We, discomfited by the Daityas, have fled to 
thee, O Vishnu, for refuge. Spirit of all, t have com- 
passion upon us! Defend us with thy mighty power. 
There will be affliction, desire, trouble, and grief, until 
thy protection is obtained: but thou art the remover 
of all sins. Do thou, then, pure of spirit, show favour 
unto us, who have fled to thee! lord of all, protect 
us with thy great power, in union with the goddess 
who is thy strength." ^§ Hari, the creator of the uni- 
verse, being thus prayed to by the prostrate divinities, 
smiled, and thus spake: "With renovated energy, 
gods, I will restore your strength. Do you act as I 
enjoin. Let all the gods, associated with the Asuras, 
cast all sorts of medicinal herbs into the sea of milk; 
and then, taking the mountain Mandara for the churn- 
ing-stick, the serpent Vasuki for the rope, churn the 

' With thy Sakti, or the goddess Sri or Lakshmi. 

* In the Sanskrit, Savitri. 

-j- Vashafkdra, "the exclamation at a sacrifice". 

+ These words, and "universal soul", just above, are to render sar- 

§ "Lord of all energies, make us, by thy power, to prosper": 

BOOK I., CHAP. IX. 143 

ocean together for ambrosia; depending upon my aid. 
To secure the assistance of the Daityas, you must be 
at peace with them, and engage to give them an equal 
portion of the fruit of your associated toil; promising 
them, that, by drinking the Amrita that shall be pro- 
duced from the agitated ocean, they shall become 
mighty and immortal. I will take care that the enemies 
of the gods shall not partake of the precious draught; 
that they shall share in the labour alone." 

Being thus instructed by the god of gods, the divini- 
ties entered into alliance with the demons: and they 
jointly undertook the acquirement of the beverage of 
immortality. They collected various kinds of medicinal 
herbs, and cast them into the sea of milk, the waters 
of which were radiant as the thin and shining clouds 
of autumn. They then took the mountain Mandara 
for the staff, the serpent Vasuki for the cord, and 
commenced to churn the ocean for the Amrita. The 
assembled gods were stationed, by Krishna, at the tail 
of the serpent; the Daityas and Danavas, at its head 
and neck. Scorched by the flames emitted from his 
inflated hood, the demons were shorn of their glory; 
whilst the clouds, driven towards his tail by the breath 
of his mouth, refreshed the gods with revivifying 
showers. In the midst of the milky sea, Hari himself, 
in the form of a tortoise, served as a pivot for the 
mountain, as it was whirled around.. The holder of 
the mace and discus was present, in other forms, 
amongst the gods and demons, and assisted to drag 
the monarch of the serpent race; and, in another vast 
body, he sat upon the summit of the mountain. With 
one portion of his energy, unseen by gods or demons, 


he sustained the serpent-king, and, with another, in- 
fused vigour into the gods. 

From the ocean, thus churned by the gods and 
Danavas, first uprose the cow Surabhi, the fountain 
of milk and curds, worshipped by the divinities, and 
beheld by them and their associates with minds dis- 
turbed and eyes glistening with delight. Then, as the 
holy Siddhas in the sky wondered what this could be, 
appeared the goddess Varuiii (the deity of wine) , her 
eyes rolling with intoxication. Next, from the whirl- 
pool of the deep, sprang the celestial Parijata tree, the 
delight of the nymphs of heaven ; perfuming the world 
with its blossoms. The troop of Apsarasas (the nymphs 
of heaven), were then produced, of surprising loveliness, 
endowed with beauty and with taste. The cool-rayed 
moon next rose, and was seized by Mahadeva; and 
then poison was engendered from the sea, of which 
the snake-gods (Nagas) took possession. Dhanwan- 
tari, robed in white, and bearing in his hand the cup 
of Amrita, next came forth; beholding which, the sons 
of Diti and of Danu, as well as the Munis, were filled 
with satisfaction and delight. Then, seated on a full- 
blown lotos, and holding a water-lily in her hand, the 
goddess Sri, radiant with beauty, rose from the waves. 
The great sages, enraptured, hymned her with the 
song dedicated to her praise. ^ * Viswavasu and other 

' Or with the Sukta, or hymn of the Vedas, commencing, 
"Hiranyavarnarii", &c. 

* "The song dedicated to her praise" translates Sii-sukta. For the 
hymn so called, with its commentary, edited by me, see Muller's Aig-veda, 
Vol. IV., Varietas Lectiouis, pp. 5, et seq. 

BOOK I., CHAP. IX. 145 

heavenly quiristers sang, and Ghritachi and other 
celestial nymphs danced before her. Ganga and other 
holy streams attended for her ablutions; and the ele- 
phants of the skies, taking up their pure waters in 
vases of gold, poured them over the goddess, the queen 
of the universal world. The sea of milk, in person, 
presented her with a wreath of never-fading flowers; 
and the artist of the gods (Viswakarman) decorated 
her person with heavenly ornaments. Thus bathed^ 
attired, and adorned, the goddess, in the vie\v of the 
celestials, cast herself upon the breast of Hari, and, 
there reclining, turned her eyes upon the deities, who 
were inspired with rapture by her gaze. Not so the 
Daityas, who, with Viprachitti at their head, were 
filled with indignation, as Vishnu turned away from 
them: and they were abandoned by the goddess of 
prosperity (Lakshmi). 

The powerful and indignant Daityas then forcibly 
seized the Amrita-cup , that was in the hand of Dhan- 
wantari. But Vishnu, assuming a female form, fascinated 
and deluded them, and, recovering the Amrita from 
them, delivered it to the gods. Sakra and the other 
deities quaffed the ambrosia. The incensed demons, 
grasping their weapons, fell upon them. But the gods, 
into whom the ambrosial draught had infused new 
vigour, defeated and put their host to flight; and they 
fled through the regions of space, and plunged into 
the subterraneous realms of Patala. The gods thereat 
greatly rejoiced, did homage to the holder of the dis- 
cus and mace, and resumed their reign in heaven. The 
sun shone with renovated splendour, and again dis- 
charged his appointed task; and the celestial luminaries 

I. 10 


again circled, best of Munis, in their respective orbits. 
Fire once more blazed aloft, beautiful in splendour; 
and the minds of all beings were animated by devotion. 
The three worlds again were rendered happy by pros- 
perity; and Indra, the chief of the gods, was restored 
to power. ^ Seated upon his throne, and once more in 

^ The churning of the ocean does not occur in several of the 
Purarias, and is but cursorily alluded to in the Siva, Linga, and 
Kiirma Puraiias. The Vayu and Padma have much the same 
narrative as that of our text; and so have the Agni and Bbaga- 
vata, except that they refer only briefly to the anger of Durvasas, 
without narrating the circumstances; indicating their being poste- 
rior, therefore, to the original tale. The part, however, assigned 
to Durvasas appears to be an embellishment added to the ori- 
ginal; for no mention of him occurs in the Matsya Purana or 
even in the Hari Vaiiisa. Neither does it occur in what may be 
considered the oldest extant versions of the story, those of the 
Ramayaiia and Mahabharata. Both these ascribe the occurrence 
to the desire of the gods and Daityas to become immortal. The 
Matsya assigns a similar motive to the gods , instigated by ob- 
serving that the Daityas slain by them in battle were restored to 
life, by Sukra, with the Sanjivini or herb of immortality, which 
he had discovered. The account in the Hari Vaiiisa is brief and 
obscure, and is explained, by the commentator, as an allegory, 
in which the churning of the ocean typifies ascetic penance, and 
the ambrosia is final liberation. But this is mere mystification. 
The legend of the Ramayaiia is translated. Vol. I., p. 410, of the 
Serampore edition , and that of the Mahabharata, by Sir C. Wil- 
kins, in the notes to his translation of the Bhagavad Gita. See, 
also, the original text, Calcutta edition, p. 40. It has been pre- 
sented to general readers, in a more attractive form, by my friend, 
H. M. Parker, in his Draught of Immortality, printed, with other 
poems , London , 1827. The Matsya Purana has many of the 
stanzas of ihe Mahabharata interspersed with others. There is 
some variety in the order and number of articles produced from 

BOOK I., CHAP. IX. 147 

heaven, exercising sovereignty over the gods, Sakra 


hand ; 

thus eulogized the goddess who bears a lotos in her 

the ocean. As 1 have obsei-ved elsewhere (Hindu Theatre, Vol. I., 
p. 59, London edition), the popular enumeration is fourteen. But 
the Ramayaiia specifies but nine; the Mahabharata, nine; the Bha- 
gavata, ten; the Padnia, nine; the Vayu, twelve: the Matsya, 
perhaps, gives the whole number. Those in which most agree 
are: 1. the Halahala or Kalakuta poison, swallowed by Siva; 
2. Varurii or Sura , the goddess of wine , who being taken by the 
gods, and rejected by the Daityas, the former were termed Suras, 
and the latter, Asuras; 3. the horse Uchchaihsravas , taken by 
Indra; 4. Kaustubha, the jewel worn by Vishnu; 5. the moon; 
6. Dhanwantari, with the Amrita in his Kamaridalu or vase; 
and these two articles are, in the Vayu, considered as distinct 
products; 7. the goddess Padma or Sri; 8. the Apsarasas or 
nymphs of heaven ; 9. Surabhi or the cow of plenty ; 10. the Pa- 
rijata tree or tree of heaven; 11. Airavata, the elephant taken by 
Indra. The Matsya adds: 12. the umbrella taken by Varuria; 
13. the ear-rings taken by Indra, and given to Aditi; and, ap- 
parently, another horse, the white horse of the sun. Or the num- 
ber may be completed by counting the Amrita separately from 
Dhanwantari. The number is made up, in the popular lists, by 
adding the bow and the conch of Vishnu. But there does not 
seem to be any good authority for this; and the addition is a 
sectarial one. So is that of the Tulasi tree, a plant sacred to 
Krishna, which is one of the twelve specified by the Vayu Pu- 
raria. The Uttara Kharida of the Padma Puraiia has a peculiar 
enumeration, or: Poison; Jyeshtha or Alakshmi, the goddess of 
misfortune, the elder born to fortune; the goddess of wine; Nidra 
or sloth; the Apsarasas; the elephant of Indra; Lakshmi; the 
moon; and the Tulasi plant. The reference to Mohini, the fe- 
male form assumed by Vishnu, is very brief in our text; and no 
notice is taken of the story told in the Mahabharata and some 
of the Puraiias, of the Daitya Rahu's insinuating himself amongst 



" I bow down to Sri, the mother of all benigs, seated 
on her lotos-throne, with eyes like full-blown lotoses, 
reclining on the breast of Vishnu. Thou art Siddhi 
(superhuman power); thou art Swadha and Swaha; 
thou art ambrosia (Sudha), the purifier of the universe; 
thou art evening, night, and dawn; thou art power, 
intellect, faith;* thou art the goddess of letters (Saras- 
wati). Thou, beautiful goddess, art knowledge of de- 
votion, great knowledge, mystic knowledge, and spiri- 
tual knowledge,^ which confers eternal liberation. 
Thou art the science of reasoning, f the three Vedas, 
the arts and sciences;^ thou art moral and political 

the gods, and obtaining a portion of the Amrita. Being beheaded, 
for this, by Vishnu, the head became immortal, in consequence 
of the Amrita having reached the throat, and was transferred, as 
a constellation, to the skies: and, as the sun and moon detected 
his presence amongst the gods , Rahu pursues them , with impla- 
cable hatred, and his efforts to seize them are the causes of 
eclipses; Rahu typifying the ascending and descending nodes. 
This seems to be the simplest and oldest form of the legend. 
The equal immortality of the body, under the name Ketu, and 
his being the cause of meteorical phenomena, seems to have been 
an afterthought. In the Padma and Bhagavata , Rahu and Ketu 
ai'e the sons of Simhika, the wife of the Danava Viprachitti. 

' The four Vidyas or branches of knowledge are said to be: 
Yajna-vidya, knowledge or performance of religious rites; Maha- 
vidya, great knowledge, the worship of the female principle, orTan- 
trika worship; Guhya-vidya, knowledge of mantras, mystical prayers, 
and incantations; and Atma-vidya, knowledge of soul, true wisdom. 

^ Or Vartta, explained to mean the Silpa-sastra, mechanics, 
sculpture, and architecture; Ayur-veda, medicine; &c. 

' Bhtiti, medhd, and iraddhd. 
t Anvikshiki. 

BOOK I., CHAP. IX. 149 

science, f The world is peopled, by thee, with pleasing 
or displeasing forms. Who else than thou, goddess, 
is seated on that person of the god of gods, the wielder 
of the mace, which is made up of sacrifice, and con- 
templated by holy ascetics? Abandoned by thee, the 
three worlds were on the brink of ruin: but they have 
been reanimated by thee. From thy propitious gaze, 
mighty goddess, men obtain wives, children, dwell- 
ings, friends, harvests, wealth. Health and strength, 
power, victory, happiness are easy of attainment to 
those upon whom thou smilest. Thou art the mother 
of all beings; as the god of gods, Hari, is their father: 
and this world, whether animate or inanimate, is per- 
vaded by thee and Vishnu. thou w^ho purifiest all 
things, forsake not our treasures, our granaries, our 
dwellings, our dependants, our persons, our wives. 
Abandon not our children, our friends, our lineage, our 
jewels, thou who abidest on the bosom of the god 
of gods. They whom thou desertest are forsaken by 
truth, by purity, and goodness, by every amiable and 
excellent quality; whilst the base and worthless upon 
whom thou lookest favourably become immediately 
endowed with all excellent qualifications, with families, 
and with power. He on whom thy countenance is 
turned is honourable, amiable, prosperous, wise, and 
of exalted birth, a hero of irresistible prowess. But all 
his merits and his advantages are converted into w^orth- 
lessness, from whom, beloved of Vishnu, mother of 
the w^orld, thou avertest thy face. The tongues of 
Brahma are unequal to celebrate thy excellence. Be 

t Dandaniti, 


propitious to me, goddess, lotos-eyed; and never 
forsake me more." 

Being thus praised, the gratified Sri, abiding in all 
creatures, and heard by all beings, replied to the god 
of a hundred rites (Satakratu) : "I am pleased, monarch 
of the gods, by thine adoration. Demand from me 
what thou desirest. I have come to fulfil thy wishes." 
"If, goddess", replied Indra, "thou wilt grant my 
prayers; if I am worthy of thy bounty; be this my 
first request, — that the three worlds may never again 
be deprived of thy presence. My second supplication, 
daughter of Ocean, is, that thou wilt not forsake him 
who shall celebrate thy praises in the words I have 
addressed to thee." "I will not abandon", the goddess 
answered, "the three worlds again. This thy first boon 
is granted: for I am gratified by thy praises. And, 
further, I will never turn my face aM^ay from that 
mortal who, morning and evening, shall repeat the 
hymn wdth which thou hast addressed me." 

Parasara proceeded. — Thus, Maitreya, in former 
times the goddess Sri conferred these boons upon the 
king of the gods, being pleased by his adorations. But 
her first birth was the daughter of Bhrigu by Khyati. 
It was at a subsequent period that she was produced 
from the sea, at the churning of the ocean, by the 
demons and the gods, to obtain ambrosia.^ For, in 

' The cause of this, however, is left unexplained. The Padma 
Puraria inserts a legend to account for the temporary separation 
of Lakshmi from Vishnu, which appears to be peculiar to that 
work. Bhrigu was lord of Lakshmipura, a city on the Narmada, 
given him by Brahma. His daughter Lakshmi instigated her 
husband to request its being conceded to her, which offending 

BOOK I., CHAP. IX. 151 

like manner as the lord of the world, the god of gods, 
Janardana, descends amongst mankind (in various 
shapes), so does his coadjutrix Sri. Thus, when Hari 
was born as a dwarf, the son of Aditi, Lakshmi ap- 
peared from a lotos (as Padma or Kamala). When he 
was born as Rama, of the race of Bhfigu (or Parasu- 
rama), she was Dharani. When he was Raghava (Ra- 
machandra), she was Sita. And, when he was Krishna, 
she became Rukmini. In the other descents of Vishnu, 
she is his associate. If he takes a celestial form, she 
appears as divine; if a mortal, she becomes a mortal, 
too; transforming her own person agreeably to what- 
ever character it pleases Vishnu to put on. Whosoever 
hears this account of the birth of Lakshmi, whosoever 
reads it, shall never lose the goddess Fortune from 
his dwelling, for three generations; and misfortune, 
the fountain of strife, shall never enter into those 
houses in which the hymns to Sri are repeated. 

Thus, Brahman, have I narrated to thee, in answer 
to thy question, how Lakshmi, formerly the daughter 
of Bhrigu, sprang from the sea of milk. And misfortune 
shall never visit those amongst mankind who daily 
recite the praises of Lakshmi, uttered by Indra, which 
are the origin and cause of all prosperity. 

Bhrigu, he cursed Vishnu to be born upon earth ten times, to be 
separated from his wife, and to have no children. The legend is 
an insipid modern embellishment. 


The descendants of the daughters of Daksha married to the Rishis. 

Maitreya. — Thou hast narrated to me, great Muni, 
all that I asked of thee. Now resume the account of 
the creation subsequently to Bhrigu. 

Parasara. — Lakshmi, the bride of Vishnu, was the 
daughter of Bhrigu byKhyati. They had also two sons, 
Dhatri and Vidhatfi, who married the two daughters 
of the illustrious Meru, Ayati and Niyati, and had, by 
them, each, a son, named Praha and Mfikahda." The 
son of the latter was Markandeya, from whom Veda- 
siras was born. ^ The son of Prana was named Dyuti- 

^ The commentator interprets the text fTWt "^^t^T7 ^"^ to 
refer to Prana: TTT^^ ^^tlXTTT ^% I 'Vedasiras was born the 
son of Prana.' So the Bhagavata f has : 

The Linga, the Vayu, and Markandeya, however, confirm our 
reading of the text; making Vedasiras the son of Markandeya. 
Praria, or, as read in the two former, Paridu, was married to 
Puiidarika, and had, by her, Dyutimat, whose sons were Srija- 
vana and Asruta or Asrutavraiia. Mfiiiarida (also read Mrikaiidu) 
married Manaswini , and had Markandeya , whose son , by Mur- 
dhanya, was Vedasiras. He married Pivari, and had many 
children, who constituted the family or Brahmanical tribe of the 
Bhargavas, sons of Bhrigu. The most celebrated of these was 
Usanas, the preceptor of the Daityas, who, according to the Bha- 
gavata, was the son of Vedasiras. But the Vayu makes him the 
son of Bhrigu by Paulomi, and born at a different period. 

• All the MSS. seen by me have Mrikaiidu. 
t IV., 1, 45. 

BOOK I., (HAP, X. 153 

mat; and his son was Rdjavat: after whom the race of 
Bhrigu became infinitely multiplied. 

Sambhuti, the wife of Marichi, gave birth to Paurha- 
masa, whose sons were Virajas and Sarvaga. I shall 
hereafter notice his other descendants, when I give a 
more particular account of the race of Marichi. ^ 

The wife of Angiras, Smriti, bore daughters named 
Sinivali, Kuhu, Raka, and Anumati (phases of the 
moon).^ Anasuya, the wife of Atri, was the mother 

^ Alluding especially to Kasyapa, the son of Marichi, of whose 
posterity a full detail is subsequently given. The Bhagavata adds 
a daughter, Devakulya; and the Vayu and Linga, four daughters, 
Tushti, Pushti, Twisha, and Apachiti. The latter inserts the 
grandsons of Pauriiamasa. Virajas, married to Gauri, has Su- 
dhaman, a Lokapala, or ruler of the east quarter; and Parvasa 
(quasi Sarvaga) has, by Parvasa, Yajnavama and Kasyata, * who 
were, both, founders of Gotras or families. f The names of all 
these occur in different forms t in different MSS. 

- The Bhagavata adds, that, in the Swarochisha Manwantara, 

* Professor Wilson had "Parvasi". Instead of his "Kasyata", I find, 
in MSS., Kasyapa: and there is a ijotra named after the latter. And 
see my next note. 

t The words of the Vdyu-purdi'ia, in the MSS. within my reach, are: 

The first line of this quotation is, in some MSS. that I have seen, 
y<|<j: ^^^U!T»1 l^f^^: &c. ; and one MS. has, instead of uf^^:, 

irf^H:- All those MSS. have ^ ^fT'^HTT:, or ^ ^fT'^HT:- But, 
without conjectural mending, the line in question yields no sense. 
Professor Wilson's "quasi Sarvaga" seems to imply that the MS., or 
MSS., which he followed had some such lection as ^f^^ Xy(- 

+ These names and forms of names — and so throughout the notes to 
this work — are very numerous; and a fully satisfactory account of them, 
in the absence of critical editions of the Purauas, is impracticable. 


of three sinless sons: Soma (the moon), Durvasas, and 
the ascetic'^ Dattatreya.^ Pulastya had, by Priti, a 
son, called, in a former birth, or in the Swayambhuva 
Manwantara, Dattoli,f who is now known as the sage 
Agastya.^ Kshama, the wife of the patriarch Pulaha, 
was the mother of three sons: Karmasa,t Arvarivat,§ 

the sages Utatliya and Brihaspati were also sons of Angiras; 
and the Vayu, &c. specify Agni and Kirttimat as the sons of the 
patriarch, in the first Manwantara. Agni, married to Sadwati, 
has Parjanya, married to Mjuichi; and their son is Hirahyaronian, 
a Lokapala. Kirttimat has, by Dhenuka, two sons, Charishriu 
and Dhritimat. 

' The Bhagavata gives an account of Atri's penance, by which 
the three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, were propitiated, and 
became, in portions of themselves, severally his sons, Soma, 
Datta, and Durvasas. The Vayu has a totally different series, 
or five sons: Satyanetra, Havya, Apomurti, Sani, and Soma; 
and one daughter, Sruti, who became the wife of Kardama. 

^ The text would seem to imply that he was called Agastya 
in a former Manwantara: but the commentator explains it as 
above.!! The Bhagavata calls the wife of Pulastya, Havirbhi'i, 
whose sons were the Muni Agastya, called, in a former birth, 
Dahragni (or Jatharagni) and Visravas. The latter had, by 
Idavida, the deity of wealth, Kubera, and, by Kesini, the Ra- 
kshasas Ravaria, Kumbhakariia, and Vibhishana. The Vayu 

* Yogin. 

t Variants of this name ai'e DattaH, Dattotti, Dattotri, Dattobhri, 
Dambhobhi, and Dambholi. 

+ Kardama seems to be a more common reading than "Karmasa". 
§ Also written Avarivat, and Arvariyat. 
II The text is as follows : 

And the commentator observes: TTr^cI! J^T^i^I^fT^ ^^•irf^ ^T" 

BOOK I., CHAP. X. 155 

and Sahishnu.^ The wife of Kratu, Samnati, brought 
forth the sixty thousand Valikhilyas, pigmy sages,* 
no bigger than a jomt of the thumb, chaste, pious, 
resplendent as the rays of the sun.'^ Vasishtha had 
seven sons, by his wifelJrja: Rajas, Gatra,IJrdhwabahu, 
Savana,f Anagha, Sutapas, and Sukra, the seven pure 
sages. ^ The Agni named Abhnnanin, who is the eldest 

specifies three sons of Pulastya, — Dattoli, Vedabahu,t and Vinita, 
and one daughter, Sadwati, married (see p. 153, note 2) to Agni. 

' The Bhagavata reads Karmasreshtha, Variyas, and Sabishnu. 
The Vayu and Linga have Kardama and Ambarisha, in place of 
the two first, and add Vanakapivat and a daughter, Pivari, married 
to Vedasiras (see p. 152, note). Kardama married Sruti (p. 154, 
note 2), and had, by her, Sankhapada, one of the Lokapalas, and 
a daughter, Kamya, married to Priyavrata (p. 108, note 1). Vana- 
kapivat (also read Dhanakapivat and Ghanakapivat) had a son, 
Sabishnu, married to Yasodhara; and they were the parents of 

^ The dift'erent authorities agree in this place. The Vayu adds 
two daughters, Punya and Suniati , married to Yajnavama (see 
p. 153, note 1). 

^ The Bhagavata has an entirely different set of names, or: 
Chitraketu, Surochis, Virajas, Mitra, Ulbaiia, Vasubhridyana, and 
Dyumat. It also specifies Saktri and others , as the issue of a 
different marriage. The Viiyu and Linga have the same sons 
as in our text; reading Putra andHasta, in place of Gatra. They 
add a daughter, Puiidarika, married to Pariclu (see p. 152, note). 
The eldest son, according to the Vayu, espoused a daughter of 
Markarideya, and had, by her, the Lokapala of the west, Ketumat. 
The seven sons of Vasishtha are termed, in the text, the seven 
Rishis; appearing, in that character, in the third Manwantara. 

* Yati. 

t Vasana is another reading, 

+ I find Devabahu iu one MS- of the Vdyu-purdna. 


born of Brahma, had, by Swaha, three sons of surpass- 
ing brilHancy: Pavaka, Pavamana, and Suchi, who 
drinks up water. They had forty-five sons, who, with 
the original son of Brahma, and his three descendants, 
constitute the forty-nine fires/ The progenitors (Pitris), 
who, as I have mentioned, were created by Brahma, 
were the Agnishwattas and Barhishads; the former 
being devoid of, and the latter possessed of, fires. ^ By 

' The eldest son of Brahma, according to the commentator, 
upon the authority oftheVedas: ^^IJf ^ •T^ ,J ^Wt ^^T^i^TT^- 
"^T^fTI ^^ : I The Vayu Puraha enters into a very long detail 
of the names and places of the whole forty-nine fires. According 
to that, also, Pavaka is electric or Vaidyuta fire; Pavamana is 
that produced by friction, or Nirmathya; and Suchi is solar 
(Saura) fire. Pavamana was the parent of Kavyavahana, the fire 
of the Pitris; Suchi, of Havyavahana, the fire of the gods; and 
Pavamana, of Saharaksha, the fire of the Asuras. The Bhaga- 
vata explains these different fires to be so many appellations of 
fire employed in the invocations with which different oblations 
to fire are offered in the ritual of the Vedas : 

explained, by the commentator; %f^% cfi?rftr "^1% %^ •TTTf^- 

^ According to the commentator, this distinction is derived 
from the Vedas. The first class, or Agnishwattas, consists of 
those householders who , when alive , did not maintain their do- 
mestic fires, nor offer burnt-sacrifices; the second, of those who 
kept up the household flame, and presented oblations with fire. 
Manuf calls these Agnidagdhas and the reverse, which Sir William 
Jones renders ' consumable by fire ' , &c. Kulluka Bhatta gives 
no explanation of them. The Bhagavata adds other classes of 

• Bhdgavata-purdna, IV., 1, 61. f III., 199. 

BOOK I., CHAP. X. 157 

them Swadha had two daughters, Mena and Dharini, 
who were, both, acquainted with theological truth, and 
both addicted to religious meditation, both accom- 
plished in perfect wisdom, and adorned with all esti- 
mable qualities.^ Thus has been explained the progeny 
of the daughters of Daksha.^ He who, with faith, re- 
capitulates the account shall never want offspring. 

Pitris; or, the Ajyapas, 'drinkers of ghee', and Somapas, 'drinkers 
of the acid juice.' The commentator, explaining the meaning of 
the terms Sagni and Anagni, lias: ^^T^T^ «RTW^f% % 
^BTTCT^I I fT5"f^ cTT^c^Ttl^ 1 1 which might be understood to signify 
that the Pitris who are 'without fire' are those to whom oblations 
are not offered, and those 'with fire' are they to whom oblations 
are presented. 

^ The Vayu carries this genealogy forward. Dharini was 
married to Meru, and had, by him, Mandara and three daughters, 
Niyati, Ayati, and Vela. The two first were married to Dhatii 
and Vidhfitri (p. 152). Vela was the wife of Samudra, by whom 
she had Samudri, married to Prachinabarhis , and the mother of 
the ten Prachetasas , the fathers of Daksha, as subsequently nar- 
rated. Mena was married to Himavat, and was the mother of 
Mainaka, and of Ganga, and of Parvati or Unia. 

^ No notice is here taken of Sati, married to Bhava, as is 
intimated in c. 8 (pp. 117, 118), when describing the Rudras. Of 
these genealogies the fullest and, apparently, the oldest account 
is given in the Viiyu Puraria. As far as that of our text extends, 
the two nearly agree; allowing for dift'erences of appellation, 
originating in inaccurate transcription; the names frequently vai-ying 
in different copies of the same work , leaving it doubtful which 
reading should be preferred. The Bhagavata, as observed above 
(p. 109 note 3) , has created some further perplexity by substitu- 
ting, as the wives of the patriarchs, the daughters of Kardama, 
for those of Daksha. Of the general statement it may be observed, 
that, although, in some respects, allegorical, as in the names of 
the wives of the Rishis (p. IU9), and, in others, astronomical, as 


in the denominations of the daughters of Angiras (p. 153), yet it 
seems probable that it is not altogether fabulous, but that the 
persons, in some instances, had a real existence; the genealogies 
originating in imperfectly preserved traditions of the families of 
the first teachers of the Hindu religion , and of the descent of 
individuals who took an active share in its propagation. 


Legend of Dhruva, the son of Uttanapada: he is unkindly treated 
by his father's second wife: applies to his mother: her advice: 
he resolves to engage in religious exercises: sees the seven 
Rishis, who recommend him to propitiate Vishnu. 

Parasara continued. — I mentioned to you that the 
Manu Swayahibhuva had two heroic and pious sons, 
Priyavrata and Uttanapada. Of these two the latter 
had a son, whom he dearly loved, Uttama, by his 
favourite wife, Suruchi. By his queen, named Suniti, 
to whom he was less attached, he also had a son, called 
Dhruva. ^ Observing his brother Uttama on the lap of 
his father, as he was seated upon his throne, Dhruva 
was desirous of ascending to the same place; but, as 
Suruchi was present, the Raja did not gratify the desire 
of his son, respectfully wishing to be taken on his 
fathers knee. Beholding the child of her rival thus 
anxious to be placed on his fathers lap, and her own 
son already seated there, Suruchi thus addressed the 
boy: "Why, child, do you vainly indulge in such pre- 
sumptuous hopes? You are born from a different 
mother, and are no son of mine, that you should aspire 
inconsiderately to a station fit for the excelleut Uttama 
alone. It is true you are the son of the Raja: but I 

' The Matsya, Brahma, and Vayu Puranas speak of but one 
wife of Uttanapada, and call her Si'iniita. They say, also, that she 
had four sons: Apaspati (or Vasu ) , Ayushniat, Kirttimat, and 
Dhruva. The Bhagavata, Padnia, and Naradiya have the same 
account as that of the text. 


have not given you birth. This regal throne, the seat 
of the king of kings, is suited to my son only. Why 
should you aspire to its occupation? Why idly cherish 
such lofty ambition, as if you were my son? Do you 
forget that you are but ihe offspring of Suniti?" 

The boy, having heard the speech of his step-mother, 
quitted his father, and repaired, in a passion, to the 
apartment of his own mother; who, beholding him 
vexed, took him upon her lap, and, gently smiling, 
asked him what was the cause of his anger, who had 
displeased him, and if any one, forgetting the respect 
tlue to his father, had behaved ill to him. Dhruva, in 
reply, repeated to her all that the arrogant Suruchi had 
said to him, in the presence of the king. Deeply dis- 
tressed by the narrative of the boy, the humble Suniti, 
her eyes dimmed with tears, sighed, and said: "Suruchi 
has rightly spoken. Thine, child, is an unhappy fate. 
Those who are born to fortune are not liable to the 
insults of their rivals. Yet be not afflicted, my child. 
For who shall efface what thou hast formerly done, or 
shall assign to thee what thou hast left undone ? The 
regal throne, the umbrella of royalty, horses, and ele- 
phants are his whose virtues have deserved them. 
Remember this, my son, and be consoled. That the 
king favours Suruchi is the reward of her merits in a 
former existence. The name of wife alone belongs to 
such as I, who have not equal merit. Her son is the 
progeny of accumulated piety, and is born as Uttama. 
Mine has been born as Dhruva, of inferior moral worth. 
Therefore, my son, it is not proper for you to grieve. 
A wise man will be contented with that degree which 
appertains to him. But, if you continue to feel hurt 

BOOK I., CHAP. XI. 161 

at the words of Suruchi , endeavour to augment that 
rehgious merit which bestows all good. Be amiable ; 
be pious; be friendly; be assiduous in benevolence to 
all living creatures. For prosperity descends upon 
modest worth, as water flows towards low ground." 

Dhruva answered: "Mother, the words that you 
have addressed to me, for my consolation, find no place 
in a heart that contumely has broken. I will exert 
myself to obtain such elevated rank, that it shall be 
revered by the whole world. Though I be not born 
of Suruchi, the beloved of the king, you shall behold 
my glory, who am your son. Let Uttama, my brother, 
her child, possess the throne given to him by my father. 
I wish for no other honours than such as my own 
actions shall acquire, such as even my father has not 

Having thus spoken, Dhruva went forth from his 
mother's dwelling. He quitted the city, and entered 
an adjoining thicket, where he beheld seven Munis, 
sitting upon hides of the black antelope, which they 
had taken from off their persons, and spread over the 
holy Kusa grass. Saluting them reverentially, and bow- 
ing humbly before them, the prince said: "Behold, in 
me, venerable men, the son of Uttanapada, born of 
Suniti. Dissatisfied with the world, I appear before 
you." The Rishis replied: "The son of a king, and 
but four or five years of age, there can be no reason, 
child, why you should be dissatisfied with life. You 
cannot be in want of anything, whilst the king, your 
father, reigns. We cannot imagine that you suffer the 
pain of separation from the object of your affections; 

I. 11 


nor do we observe, in your person, any sign of disease. 
What is the cause of your discontent? Tell us, if it is 
known to yourself." 

Dhruva then repeated to the Rishis what Suruchi 
had spoken to him; and, wdien they had heard his 
story, they said to one another: "How surprising is 
the vehemence of the Kshatriya nature, that resent- 
ment is cherished even by a child, and he cannot efface 
from his mind the harsh speeches of a step-mother! 
Son of a Kshatriya, tell us, if it be agreeable to thee, 
what thou hast proposed, through dissatisfaction with 
the world, to accomplish. If thou wishest our aid in 
what thou hast to do, declare it freely: for we perceive 
that thou art desirous to speak." 

Dhruva said: "Excellent sages, I wish not for riches; 
neither do I want dominion. I aspire to such a station 
as no one before me has attained. Tell me what I must 
do, to effect this object; how I may reach an elevation 
superior to all other dignities." (The Rishis severally 
thus replied.) Marichi said: "The best of stations is 
not wnthin the reach of men who fail to propitiate Go- 
vinda. Do thou, prince, worship the undecaying 
(Achyuta)." Atri said: ''He with whom the first of 
spirits, Janardana, is pleased, obtains imperishable 
dignity. I declare unto you the truth." Angiras said: 
"If you desire an exalted station, worship that Govinda 
in whom, immutable and undecaying, all that is exists." 
Pulastya said: "He who adores the divine Hari, the 
supreme soul, supreme glory, who is the supreme 
Brahma, obtains what is difficult of attainment, eternal 
liberation." "When that Janardana", observed Kratu, 
"who, in sacrifices, is the soul of sacrifice, and who, in 

BOOK I., CHAP. XI. 163 

abstract contemplation, is supreme spirit,* is pleased, 
there is nothing man may not acquire." Pulaha said: 
"Indra, having worshipped the lord of the world, ob- 
tained the dignity of king of the celestials. Do thou 
adore, pious youth, that Vishnu, the lord of sacrifice." 
''Anything, child, that the mind covets", exclaimed 
Vasishtha, ''may be obtained by propitiating Vishnu, — 
even though it be the station that is the most ex- 
cellent in the three worlds." 

Dhruva replied to them: "You have told me, humbly 
bending before you, what deity is to be propitiated. 
Now inform me what prayer is to be meditated by me, 
that will offer him gratification. May the great Rishis, 
looking upon me with favour, instruct me how I am 
to propitiate the god." The Rishis answered: "Prince, 
thou deservest to hear how the adoration of Vishnu 
has been performed by those who have been devoted 
to his service. The mind must first be made to forsake 
all external impressions; and a man must then fix it 
steadily on that being in whom the world is. By him 
whose thoughts are thus concentrated on one only 
object, and wholly filled by it; whose spirit is firmly 
under control; the prayer that we shall repeat to thee 
is to be inaudibly recited: 'Om! Glory to Vasudeva, 
whose essence is divine wisdom; whose form is in- 

The commentator says : ■??% ^ST^Ht^TTT^f^ ^1^ I '^'t '^ftTSIW I 

^^T I 't'^ft ^: ^'^^^ T^W"^: i 

The meaning is, then: "who, in /he sdstra of sacrifice, is called the 
soul of the sacrifice, and, in the Yoga Mstra, the supreme spirit." 



scrutable, or is manifest as Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva!'^ 
This prayer, which was formerly uttered by your 
grandsire, the Manu Swayambhuva, and propitiated by 
which, Vishnu conferred upon him the prosperity he 
desired, and which was unequalled in the three worlds, 
is to be recited by thee. Do thou constantly repeat 
this prayer, for the gratification of Govinda." * 

' The instructions of the Eishis amount to the performance 
of the Yoga. External impressions are, first, to be obviated by 
particular positions, modes of breathing, &c. The mind must 
then be fixed on the object of meditation : this is Dharana. Next 
comes the meditation orDhyana; and then the Japa or inaudible 
repetition of a Mantra or short prayer: as in the text. The sub- 
ject of the Yoga is more fully detailed in a subsequent book. 

TTcI^r^TT H'T^T^TSi ^-RT^Tt 'T^: I 
fxTfTT'Tf^^ ^TT fT^ Wt ^^^^: II 

^^ ^^t^Rf^T^f^ wt^^^"m: I 

fT^ ^TTfxi 'iYf^ ffr^%fIc^^T ^ti^ II 

"'Om! Glory to Vasudeva, who has the form of Hiraiiyagarbha, and 
of soul, and of pradhdna when not yet evolved , and who possesses the 
nature of pure intelligence!' Manu, the holy son of the Self-existent 
Brahma, muttered this prayer. Jauardana, thy grandsire, of yore, pro- 
pitiated, bestowed on him wealth to his wish, such as is hard to be 
acquired in the three worlds. Therefore, daily muttering this prayer, 
do thou, too, propitiate Govinda." 

For Hiranyagarbha and pradhdna, see pp. 13, 20, 39, and 40, supra. 


Dhruva commences a course of religious austerities. Unsuccessful 
attempts of Indra and his ministers to distract Dhruva's atten- 
tion : they appeal to Vishnu, who allays their fears, and appears 
to Dhruva. Dhruva praises Vishnu, and is raised to the skies, 
as the pole-star. 

The prince, having received these instructions, re- 
spectfully saluted the sages, and departed from the 
forest, fully confiding in the accomplishment of his 
purposes. He repaired to the holy place, on the banks 
of the Yamuna, called Madhu or Madhuvana, (the grove 
of Madhu), after the demon of that name, who formerly 
abided there. Satrughna (the younger brother of Rama) 
having slain the Rakshasa Lavana, the son of Madhu, 
founded a city on the spot, which was named Mathura. 
At this holy shrine — the purifier from all sin, which 
enjoyed the presence of the sanctifying god of gods — 
Dhruva performed penance, as enjoined by Marichi 
and the sages. He contemplated Vishnu, the sovereign 
of all the gods, seated in himself. Whilst his mind 
was wholly absorbed in meditation, the mighty Hari, 
identical M'itli all beings and with all natures, (took 
possession of his heart). Vishnu being thus present 
in his mind, the earth, the supporter of elemental life, 
could not sustain the weight of the ascetic. As he 
stood upon his left foot, one hemisphere bent beneath 
him ; and, when he stood upon his right, the other half 
of the earth sank down. When he touched the earth 
with his toes, it shook, with all its mountains; and the 


rivers and the seas were troubled: and the gods par- 
took of the universal agitation. 

The celestials called Yamas , being excessively 
alarmed, then took counsel with Indra, how they should 
interrupt the devout exercises of Dhruva; and the 
divine beings termed Kushmcindas , in company with 
their king, commenced anxious efforts to distract his 
meditations. One, assuming the semblance of his 
mother, Suniti, stood weeping before him, and calling 
in tender accents: "My son, my son, desist from de- 
stroying thy strength by this fearful penance. I have 
gained thee, my son, after much anxious hope. Thou 
canst not have the cruelty to quit me, helpless, alone, 
and unprotected, on account of the unkindness of my 
rival. Thou art my only refuge. I have no hope but 
thou. What hast thou, a child but five years old, to 
do with rigorous penance? Desist from such fearful 
practices, that yield no beneficial fruit. First comes 
the season of youthful pastime; and, when that is over, 
it is the time for study. Then succeeds the period of 
worldly enjoyment; and, lastly, that of austere devo- 
tion. This is thy season of pastime, my child. Hast 
thou engaged in these practices to put an end to thine 
existence? Thy chief duty is love for me. Duties are 
according to time of life. Lose not thyself in bewilder- 
ing error. Desist from such unrighteous actions. If 
not, if thou wilt not desist from these austerities, I will 
terminate my life before thee." 

But Dhruva, being wholly intent on seeing Vishnu, 
beheld not his mother weeping in his presence, and 
calling upon him; and the illusion, crying out, "Fly, 
fly, my child: the hideous spirits of ill are crowding 

BOOK I., CHAP. xir. 167 

into this dreadful forest, with uphfted weapons", quickly 
disappeared. Then advanced frightful Rakshasas, wield- 
ing terrible arms, and with countenances emitting fiery 
flame; and nocturnal fiends thronged around the prince, 
uttering fearful noises, and whirling and tossing their 
threatening weapons. Hundreds of jackals, from 
wdiose mouths gushed flame/ as they devoured their 
prey, were howling aloud, to appal the boy, wholly 
engrossed by meditation. The goblins called out: "Kill 
him, kill him; cut him to pieces; eat him, eat him." 
And monsters, with the faces of lions and camels and 
crocodiles, roared and yelled, with horrible cries, to 
terrify the prince. But all these uncouth spectres, ap- 
palling cries, and threatening weapons made no im- 
pression upon his senses, w^hose mind was completely 
intent on Govinda. The son of the monarch of the 
earth, engrossed by one only idea, beheld, uninter- 
ruptedly, Vishnu seated in his soul, and saw no other 

All their delusive stratagems being thus foiled, the 
gods were more perplexed than ever. Alarmed at 
their discomfiture, and afflicted by the devotions of 
the boy, they assembled, and repaired, for succour, to 
Hari, the origin of the world, who is without beginning 
or end, and thus addressed him: "God of gods, sov- 
ereign of the world, god supreme, and infinite spirit,* 

' A marginal note, by a Bengali Pandit, asserts it to be a 
fact, that, when a jackal carries a piece of meat in his mouth, 
it shows, in the dark, as if it was on fire. 

Purushottama , in the original. See my third note in p. 16, supra. 


distressed by the austerities of Dhruva, we have come 
to thee for protection. As the moon increases in his 
orb day by day, so this youth advances incessantly 
towards superhuman power, by his devotions. Terrified 
by the ascetic practices of the son of Uttanapada, we 
have come to thee for succour. Do thou allay the 
fervour of his meditations. We know not to what 
station he aspires — to the throne of Indra, the regency 
of the solar or lunar sphere, or to the sovereignty of 
riches or of the deep. Have compassion on us, lord: 
remove this affliction from our breasts. Divert the 
son of Uttanapada from persevering in his penance." 
Vishnu replied to the gods: "The lad desireth neither 
the rank of Indra, nor the solar orb, nor the sover- 
eignty of wealth or of the ocean. All that he solicits 
I will grant. Return, therefore, deities, to your man- 
sions, as ye list; and, be no more alarmed. I will put 
an end to the penance of the boy, whose mind is im- 
mersed in deep contemplation." 

The gods, being thus pacified by the supreme, saluted 
him respectfully, and retired, and, preceded by Indra, 
returned to their habitations. But Hari, who is all 
things, assuming a shape with four arms, proceeded 
to Dhruva, being pleased with his identity of nature, 
and thus addressed him: "Son of Uttanapada, be pros- 
perous. Contented with thy devotions, I, the giver of 
boons, am present. Demand what boon thou desirest. 
In that thou hast wholly disregarded external objects, 
and fixed thy thoughts on me, I am well pleased with 
thee. Ask, therefore, a suitable reward." The boy, 
hearing these words of the god of gods, opened his 
eyes, and, beholding that Hari, whom he had before 

BOOK I., CHAP. XII. 169 

seen in his meditations, actually in his presence, bear- 
ing, in his hands, the shell, the discus, the mace, the 
bow, and scimetar, and crowned with a diadem, he 
bowed his head down to earth: the hair stood erect 
on his brow, and his heart was depressed with awe. 
He reflected how best he should offer thanks to the 
god of gods, what he could say in his adoration, what 
words were capable of expressing his praise; and, being 
overwhelmed with perplexity, he had recourse, for 
consolation, to the deity. "If", he exclaimed, "the 
lord is contented with my devotions, let this be my 
reward, — that I may know how to praise him as I wish. 
How can I, a child, pronounce his praises, whose abode 
is unknown to Brahma and to others learned in the 
Vedas? My heart is overflowing with devotion to 
thee. lord, grant me the faculty worthily to lay mine 
adorations at thy feet." 

Whilst lowly bowing, with his hands uplifted to his 
forehead, Govinda, the lord of the world , touched the 
son of Uttanapada with the tip of his conch-shell. And 
immediately the royal youth, with a countenance spark- 
ling with delight, praised respectfully the imperishable 
protector of living beings. "I venerate", exclaimed 
Dhruva, "him whose forms are earth, water, fire, air, 
ether, mind, intellect, the first element'^ (Ahamkara), 
primeval nature, and the pure, subtile, all-pervading 
soul, that surpasses nature, f Salutation to that spirit 
that is void of qualities; that is supreme over all the 
elements and all the objects of sense, over intellect, 

* Bhutddi. See my first note in p, 33, supra. 

•}■ Here, and in the next sentence, "nature" is for pradhdna. See my 
first note in p. 20, supra. 


over nature and spirit. I have taken refuge with that 
pure form of thine, supreme, which is one with 
Brahma, which is spirit, which transcends all the world. 
Salutation to that form which, pervading and support- 
ing all, is designated Brahma, unchangeable, and con- 
templated by religious sages. Thou art the male with 
a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, 
who traversest the universe, and passest ten inches 
beyond its contact. ^ Whatever has been , or is to be, 
that, Purushottama, thou art. From thee sprang Viraj, 
Swaraj , Samraj , and Adhipurusha, ^ The lower, and 
upper, and middle parts of the earth are not inde- 
pendent of thee. From thee is all this universe, all 
that has been, and that shall be; and all this world is 
in thee, assuming this universal form.^ From thee is 

' The commentator understands this passage to imply merely, 
that the supreme pervades both substance and space ; being in- 
finitely vast, and without limit. 'Having a thousand heads', &c. 
denotes only infinite extension; and the 'ten inches beyond the 
contact of the universe' expresses merely non-restriction by its 
boundaries. ^T^fifc^rTf^J^^i M <*< I '^fft^^T^: I ^W# 

" Explained, severally, the Brahmaiida or material universe; 
Brahma, the creator; Manu, the ruler of the period; and supreme 
or presiding spirit. 

^ So the inscription upon the temple of Sais: ^Eycij si/iii, nav 
TO ysyorog, ?)V, yal sGOfisvoi'. So the Orphic verse, cited 

by Eusebius, beginning: 

"Ev Jf dfuctg ^aailttov iy ([> 7i'((^s nui'ra y.uxktirctt, x, j. I. 
'One regal body in which all things are comprehended (viz., 
Viraj), fire, and water, and earth, and air, and night, and day, 
and Intelligence (viz., Mahat), the first generator, and divine love: 
for all these does Jupiter include in his expansive form.' It pro- 
ceeds, also, precisely in the Pauranik strain, to describe the mem- 

BOOK L, CHAP. Xir. 171 

sacriiice derived, and all oblations, and curds, and ghee, 
and animals of either class (domestic or wild). From 
thee the Rig-veda, the Saman, the metres (of theVedas), 
and the Yajur-veda are born. Horses, and cows having 
teeth in one jaw only,^ proceed from thee; and from 
thee come goats, sheep, deer. Brahmans sprang from 
thy mouth; warriors, from thy arms: Vaisyas, from 
thy thighs; and Siidras, from thy feet. From thine 
eyes come the sun; from thine ears, the wind; and, from 
thy mind, the moon; the vital airs, from thy central 
vein; and fire, from thy mouth; the sky, from thy navel; 
and heaven, from thy head; the regions, from thine 
ears; the earth, from thy feet. All this world was de- 
rived from thee. As the wide -spreading Nyagrodha 
(Indian fig) tree is compressed in a small seed,^ so, at 
the time of dissolution,* the whole universe is compre- 
hended in thee, as its germ. As the Nyagrodha ger- 
minates from the seed, and becomes, first, a «hoot, and 
then rises into loftiness, so the created world proceeds 
from thee, and expands into magnitude. As the bark 
and leaves of the plantain — tree are to be seen in its 
stem, so thou art the stem of the universe; and all 
things are visible in thee. The faculties of the intellect, 
that are the cause of pleasure and of pain, abide in 

• bers of this universal form. The heaven is his head; the stars, 
his hair; the sun and moon, his eyes, &c. 

^ A piece of natural history quite correct, as applied to the 
front teeth, which, in the genus ox, occur in the lower jaw only. 

- This is, also, conformable to the doctrine, that the rudiments 
of plants exist in their cotyledons. 

* Saihyama. 


thee, as one with all existence. But the sources of 
pleasure and of pain, singly, or blended, do not exist 
in thee, who art exempt from all qualities/ Salutation 
to thee, the subtile rudiment, which, being single, be- 
comes manifold. Salutation to thee, soul of existent 
things, identical with the great elements. Thou, im- 
perishable, art beheld, in spiritual knowledge, as per- 
ceptible objects, as nature, as spirit, as the world, as 
Brahma, as Manu, by internal contemplation.* But 
thou art in all, the element of all: thou art all, assuming 
every form: all is from thee: and thou art from thyself. 
I salute thee, universal soul. Glory be to thee! Thou 
art one with all things. lord of all, thou art present 

^ In life, or living beings, perception depends not, according 
to Hindu metaphysics, upon the external senses; but the im- 
pressions made upon them are communicated to the mental organ 
or sense, and by the mind to the understanding — Saifivid (^rf%^) 
in the text — by which they are distinguished as pleasurable, pain- 
ful , or mixed. But pleasure depends upon the quality of good- 
ness; pain, on that of darkness; and their mixture, on that of 
foulness, inherent in the understanding: properties belonging to 
Jiveswara, or god as one with life, or to embodied spirit, but not 
as Parameswara or supreme spirit. 

"Thou art regarded, in raental action, as the evolved, as pradlidna, 
as spirit; as virdj, samrdj, and swardj ; as, among souls, the imperishable 

Y or pradhdna, the same as prakriti, see my first note in p. 18, and 
the first in p. 20, supra. It is ahaihkdra, &c. that is meant by "the 
evolved", viz., pradhdna. Pradhdna, unqualified, is here to be taken as 
unevolved. Virdj, samrdj, and swardj are well-known technicalities of 
the Vedanta philosophy. 

The Supreme, under various aspects, is described in this couplet. 

BOOK I., CHAP. XII. 173 

in all things. What can I say unto thee? Thoa knowest 
all that is in the heart, soul of all, sovereign lord of 
all creatures, origin of all things. Thou, who art all 
beings, knowest the desires of all creatures. The desire 
that I cherished has been gratified, lord, by thee. My 
devotions have been crowned with success, in that I 
have seen thee." 

Vishnu said to Dhruva: "The object of thy devotions 
has, in truth, been attained, in that thou hast seen me: 
for the sight of me, young prince, is never unproductive. 
Ask, therefore, of me what boon thou desirest: for 
men in whose sight I appear obtain all their wishes." 
To this, Dhruva answered: "Lord god of all creatures, 
who abidest in the hearts of all, how should the 
wish that I cherish be unknown to thee? I will confess 
unto thee the hope that my presumptuous heart has 
entertained; a hope that it would be difficult to gratify, 
but that nothing is difficult, when thou, creator of the 
w^orld, art pleased. Through thy favour, Indra* reigns 
over the three worlds. The sister-queen of my mother 
has said to me, loudly and arrogantly: 'The royal 
throne is not for one who is not born of me': and I 
now solicit of the support of the universe an exalted 
station, superior to all others, and one that shall endure 
for ever." Vishnu said to him: "The station that thou 
askest thou shalt obtain: for I was satisfied with thee, 
of old, in a prior existence. Thou wast, formerly, a 
Brahman, whose thoughts were ever devoted to me, 
ever dutiful to thy parents, and observant of thy duties. 
In course of time, a prince became thy friend, who was 

* Maghavat, in the original. 


in the period of youth, indulged in all sensual pleasures, 
and was of handsome appearance and elegant form. 
Beholding, in consequence of associating with him, his 
affluence, you formed the desire that you might be 
subsequently born as the son of a king; and, according 
to your wish, you obtained a princely birth, in the 
illustrious mansion of Uttanapada. But that which 
would have been thought a great boon by others, birth 
in the race of Swayambhuva, you have not so con- 
sidered, and, therefore, have propitiated me. The man 
who worships me obtains speedy liberation from life. 
What is heaven to one whose mind is fixed on meV 
A station shall be assigned to thee, Dhruva, above the 
three worlds;^ one in which thou shalt sustain the stars 
and the planets; a station above those of the sun, the 
moon, Mars, the son of Soma (Mercury), Venus, the 
son of Surya (Saturn), and all the other constellations; 
above the regions of the seven Rishis and the divinities 

' The station or sphere is that of the north pole, or of the 
polar star. In the former case, the star is considered to be 
Suniti, the mother of Dhruva. The legend, although, as it is 
related in our text, it differs, in its circumstances, from the story 
told, by Ovid, of Callisto and her son Areas, whom Jove 

Imposuit caelo vicinaque sidera fecit, 
suggests some suspicion of an original identity. In neither of the 
authorities have we, perhaps, the primitive fable. It is evident, 
from the quotation, that presently follows in the text, of a stanza 
by Usanas, that the Parana has not the oldest version of the 
legend; and Ovid's representation of it is after a fashion of his 
own. All that has been retained of the original is the coiiforniity 
of the characters and of the main incident, the translation of a 
mother and her son to the heavens, as constellations, in which 
the pole-star is the most conspicuous luminary. 

BOOK I., CHAP. XII. 175 

who traverse the atmosphere.^ Some celestial bemgs 
endm^e for four ages; some, for the reign of a Mana. 
To thee shall be granted the duration of a Kalpa. Thy 
mother, Suniti, in the orb of a bright star, shall abide 
near thee for a similar term; and all those who, with 
minds attentive, shall glorify thee at dawn, or at even- 
tide, shall acquire exceeding religious merit. 

Thus, the sage Dhruva, having received a boon from 
Janardana, the god of gods, and lord of the world, 
resides in an exalted station. Beholding his glory, 
Usanas, the preceptor of the gods and demons, repeated 
these verses: "Wonderful is the efficacy of this penance, 
marvellous is its reward, that the seven Rishis should 
be preceded by Dhruva. This, too, is the pious Suniti, 
his parent, Mdio is called Sunrita."^ Who can celebrate 
her greatness, who, having given birth to Dhruva, has 
become the asylum of the three worlds, enjoying, to 
all future time, an elevated station, a station eminent 
above all? He who shall worthily describe the ascent 
into the sky of Dhruva, for ever shall be freed from 
all sin, and enjoy the heaven of Indra. Whatever be 
his dignity, whether upon earth, or in heaven, he shall 
never fall from it, but shall long enjoy life, possessed 
of every blessing. ^ 

' The Vaimanika devas, the deities who travel in Vinianas, 
'heavenly ears', or, rather, '^moving spheres.' 

^ The text says merely: ^•ftftl^^ ^•TfTT I The commentator 
says: 'Perhaps* formerly so called'; IJ^aTTT ^T I We have already 
remarked, that some Purarias so denominate her. 

^ The legend of Dhruva is narrated in the Bhagavata, Padma 

* The '^, here rendered "perhaps", connects two interpretations, and 
means "or else". 


(Swarga Kharida), Agni, and Naradiya, much to the same purport, 
and partly in the same words, as our text. The Brahma, and its 
double, the Hari Yamsa, the Matsya, and Vayu, merely allude 
to Dhruva's having been transferred, by Brahma, to the skies, in 
reward of his austerities. The story of his religious penance 
and adoration of Vishiiu seems to be an embellishment inter- 
polated by the Vaishhava Purarias; Dhruva being adopted, as a 
saint, by their sect. The allusion to Sunfita, in our text, concurs 
with the form of the story as it appears elsewhere^ to indicate 
the priority of the more simple legend. 


Posterity of Dhruva. Legend of Vena : his impiety : he is put to 
death by the Rishis. Anarchy ensues. The production of 
Nishada and Pfithu: the latter, the first king. The origin 
of Siita and Magadha: they enumerate the duties of kings. 
Pfithu compels Earth to acknowledge his authority: he levels 
it: introduces cultivation: erects cities. Earth called, after him, 
Pfithivi: typified as a cow. 

Parasara. — The sons of Dhruva, by his wife Sam- 
bhu, were Bhavya and SHshti. Suchchhaya, the wife 
of the latter, was the mother of five virtuous sons; 
Ripu, Ripunjaya, Vipra, Vrikala, and Vrikatejas. The 
son of Ripu, by Brihati, was the ilhistrious Chakshusha, 
who begot the Manu Chakshusha on Pushkarihi, of the 
family of Varuna, the daughter of the venerable patri- 
arch Anarahya. The Manu had, by his wife Nadvala,* 
the daughter of the patriarch Vau'aja, ten noble sons: 
Uru, Puru,f Satadyumna, Tapaswin, Satyavach, Kavi, 
Agnishtoma, Atiratra, Sudyumna, and Abhimanyu. 
The wife of Uru, Agneyi, bore six excellent sons: 
Anga, Sumanas, Swati, Kratu, Angiras, and Siva. Anga 
had, by his wife Sunitha, only one son, named Vena, 
whose right arm was rubbed, by the Rishis, for the 
purpose of producing from it progeny.. From the arm 
of Vena, thus rubbed, sprang a celebrated monarch. 

* Professor Wilson inadvertently put "Navala". 

t Piiru is the older form of this word, as, for instance, in the Rig' 
veda, Sdkuntala, &c. 

I. 12 


named Pfithu, by whom, in olden time, the earth was 
milked for the advantage of mankind. ^ 

' The descent of Prithu from Dhruva is similarly traced in 
the Matsya Parana, but with some variety of nomenclature. Thus, 
the wife of Dhruva is named Dhanya, and the eldest son of the 
Manu, Taru. The Vayu introduces another generation; making 
the eldest son of Slishti, — or, as there termed, Pushti, — father of 
Udaradhi, and the latter, the father of Ripu, the father of Cha- 
kshusha, the father of the Manu. The Bhagavata* has an almost 
entirely different set of names, having converted the family of 
Dhruva into personifications of divisions of time and of day and 
night. The account there given is: Dhruva had, by his wife 
Bhrami (revolving), the daughter of Sisumara (the sphere), Kalpa 
and Vatsara. The latter married Swarvitbi, and had six sons: 
Pushparria, Tigmaketu, Isha, Urja, Vasu, Jaya. The first married 
Prabha and Dosha, and had, by the former, Pratas (dawn), 
Madhyandina (noon), and Saya (evening), and, by the latter, 
Pradosha, Nisitha, and Vyushta, or the beginning, middle, and 
end, of night. The last has, by Pushkarini, Chakshus, married 
to Akiiti, and the father of Chakshusha Manu. He has twelve sons : 
Puru, Kutsa, Trita, Dyumna, Satyavat, Rita,f Vrata, Agnishtoma, 
Atiratra, Pradyumna, Sibi, and Ulmuka. The last is the father 
of six sons, named as in our text, except the last, who is called 
Gaya. + The eldest, Anga, is the father of Vena, the father of 
Prithu. These additions are, evidently, the creatures of the author's 
imagination. The Brahma Puraiia and Hari Varasa have the 
same genealogy as the Vishnu; reading, as do the Matsya and 
Vayu, Pushkarini or Viraiii, the daughter of Viraria, instead of 
Varuna. They, as well as copies of the text, present several 

* IV., 10 and 13. 

t Professor Wilson had "Kritsna"', "Rita", and "Dhrita", instead of 
Kutsa, Trita, and Rita. 

+ The Bhdgavata-purdna also has Khyati, instead of Swati. And see 
my second note in the next page. 


Maitreya. — Best of Munis, tell me why was the right 
hand of Vena rubbed by the holy sages, in consequence 
of which the heroic Prithu was produced. 

Parasara. — Sunitha was, originally,* the daughter 
of Mrityu, by whom she was given to Anga to wife. 
She bore him Vena, who inherited the evil propensities 
of his maternal grandfather. When he was inaugurated, 
by the Rishis, monarch of the earth, he caused it to 
be everywhere proclaimed, that no worship should be 
performed, no oblations offered, no gifts bestowed upon 
the Brahmans. "I, the king", said he, "am the lord of 
sacrifice. For who but I am entitled to the oblations?" 
The Rishis, respectfully approaching the sovereign, 
addressed him in melodious accents, and said: "Gra- 
cious prince, we salute you. Hear what we have to re- 
present. For the preservation of your kingdom and 
your life, and for the benefit of all your subjects, per- 
mit us to worship Hari, the lord of all sacrifice, the 
god of gods, w^ith solemn and protracted rites, ^ — a por- 

other varieties of nomenclature, f The Padnia Parana (Bhiimi 
Khanda) says Anga was of the family of Atri; in allusion, per- 
haps, to the circumstance, mentioned in the Brahma Puraiia, of 
Uttanapada's adoption by that Rishi. 

' With the Dirghasatra, 'long sacrifice'; a ceremony lasting 
a thousand years. 

• Some MSS. have, instead of Jm\'> T('^fV^i'^'^c[^, ^^' "^^" 

?T^T>T"^ft, I ^^ seems, therefore, better to substitute: "Sunitha "was 
Mrityu's eldest daughter." 

t The principal variants of the Vishnu -purdn a are as follows: for 
"Slisht'i", Sisht'i; for "Varinia", Virina; for "Anaraiiya", Aranya; for 
"Kavi", Suchi; for " AgnisLt'oma", Agnisht'ut; for "Sudyumna", Pra- 
dyumna; for "Swati", Khyati; for "Siva", Usbij. 



tion of the fruit of which will revert to you. ^ Vishnu, 
the god of oblations,* being propitiated with sacrifice 
by us, will grant you, king, all your desires. Those 
princes have all their wishes gratified, in whose realms 
Hari, the lord of sacrifice, is adored with sacrificial 
rites." "Who", exclaimed Vena, "is superior to meV 
Who besides me is entitled to worship? Who is this 
Hari, whom you style the lord of sacrifice? Brahma, 
Janardana, Sambhu, Indra, Vayu, Yama, Ravi (the 
sun), Hutabhuj (fire), Varuna, Dhatri, Piishan (the 
sun), Bhiimi (earth), the lord of night (the moon), — 
all these, and whatever other gods there be who listen 
to our vows, — all these are present in the person of a 
king. The essence of a sovereign is all that is divine.f 
Conscious of this, I have issued my commands: and 
look that you obey them. You are not to sacrifice, not 
to offer oblations, not to give alms. As the first duty 
of women is obedience to their lords, so observance 
of my orders is incumbent, holy men, on you." "Give 
command, great king", replied the Rishis, "that piety 
may suffer no decrease. All this world is but a trans- 

' That is, the land will be fertile in proportion as the gods 
are propitiated ; and the king will benefit accordingly, as a sixth 
part of the merit and of the produce will be his. So the com- 
mentator explains the word 'portion': '^TiJ't "BJljt 'HTTI I 

. * Yajnapurusha. See iny note in p. 163, supra. 

In place of "whatever other gods there be who listen to our vows", 
read "whatever other gods bestow curses or blessings." 

The end of the stanza signifies, literally: "A king is made up of all 
that is divine." 


mutation of oblations; and, if devotion be suppressed, 
the world is at an end." But Vena was entreated in 
vain; and, although this request was repeated by the 
sages, he refused to give the order they suggested. 
Then those pious Munis were filled with wrath, and 
cried out to each other: "Let this wicked wretch be 
slain. The impious man who has reviled the god of 
sacrifice,* who is without beginning or end, is not fit 
to reign over the earth." And they fell upon the king, 
and beat him with blades of holy grass, consecrated 
by prayer, and slew him, who had first been destroyed 
by his impiety towards god. 

Afterwards the Munis beheld a great dust arise; and 
they said to the people who were nigh : "Wliat is this ?" 
And the people answered and said: "Now that the 
kingdom is without a king, the dishonest men have 
begun to seize the property of theii^ neighbours. The 
great dust that you behold, excellent Munis, is raised 
by troops of clustering robbers, hastening to fall upon 
their prey."f The sages, hearing this, consulted, and 
together rubbed the thigh of the king, who had left 
no offspring, to produce a son. From the thigh, thus 
rubbed, came forth a being of the complexion of a 
charred stake, with flattened features (like a negro), 
and of dwarfish stature. "Whait am I to do?" cried 
he eagerly to the Munis. "Sit down" (nishida), said 
they : and thence his name was Nishada. His descend- 
ants, the inhabitants of the Vindhya mountain, great 
Muni, are still called Nishadas, and are characterized by 

* Yajnapurusha. 

t There is here considerable compression in the translation. 


the exterior tokens of depravity. ^ By this means the 
wickedness of Vena was expelled; those Nishadas being 

' The Matsya says there were born outcast or barbarous races, 
Mlechchhas (^^^TfT^^), as black as collyrium. The Bhagavata 
describes an individxial of dwarfish stature, with short arms and 
legs, of a complexion as black as a crow, with projecting chin, 
broad flat nose, red eyes, and tawny hair; whose descendants 
were mountaineers and foresters.* The Padma (Bhumi Kharida) 
has a similar description; adding to the dwarfish stature and black 
complexion, a wide mouth, large ears, and a protuberant belly. 
It also particularizes his posterity as Nishadas , Kiratas , Bhillas, 
Bahanakas, Bhrahmaras, Pulindas, and other barbarians or 
Mlechchhas, living in woods and on mountains. These passages 
intend, and do not much exaggerate, the uncouth appearance of 
the Gonds, Kolcs, Bhils, and other uncivilized tribes, scattered 
along the forests and mountains of central India, from Behar to 

* Bhdgavata-purdna, IV., 14, 43-46: 

ch|cti*uLr|\jf?{;^^T^ l^^^^fTl^: I 
f«iMl<c4Jf^^nff ^ t^^T^WtiH^fi: II 

ri^ ^iTT^ %Tr^ W\ch H-1 aPt^Tr: I 

Burnouf's translation is in these words: 

"Ayant pris cette resolution, les Richis secouerent rapidement la cuisse 
dii roi qu'ils avaient tue, et il en sortit un nain 

"Noir comme un corbeau, ayant le corps d'une extreme petitesse, les 
bras courts, les machoires grandes, les pieds petits, le nez enfonce, les 
yeux rouges et les cheveux cuivres. 

"Prosterne devant eux, le pauvre nain s'ecria: Que faut-il que je 
fasse? Et les Brahmanes lui repondirent: Assieds-toi, ami. De la lui 
■vint le nom de Nichada. 

"C'est de sa race que sont sortis les Naichadas qui habitent les caverues 
et les montagnes ; car c'est lui dont la naissance effa9a la faute terrible 
de Vena." 


born of his sins, and carrying them away. The Brah- 
mans then proceeded to nib the right arm of the king, 
from which friction was engendered the illustrious son 
of Vena, named Prithu, resplendent in person, as if the 
blazing deity of Fire had been manifested. 

There then fell from the sky the primitive bow (of 
Mahadeva) named Ajagava, and celestial arrows, and 
panoply from heaven. At the birth of Prithu, all living 
creatures rejoiced; and Vena, delivered, by his being 
born, from the hell named Put, ascended to the realms 
above.* The seas and rivers, bringing jewels (from 
their depths), and water to perform the ablutions of 
his installation, appeared. The great parent of all, 
Brahma, with the gods and the descendants of Angiras 
(the fires), and with all things animate or inanimate, 
assembled, and performed the ceremony of consecrating 
the son of Vena. Beholding in his right hand the 
(mark of the) discus of Vishnu, Brahma recognized 
a portion of that divinity in Prithu, and was much 
pleased. For the mark of Vishnu's discus is visible in 
the hand of one who is born to be a universal emperor,^ 
one whose power is invincible even by the gods. 

Khandesh , and who are^ not improbably, the predecessors of the 
present occupants of the cultivated portions of the country. They 
are always very black, ill-shapen, and dwarfish, and have counte- 
nances of a very African character. 

' A Chakravartin, or, according to the text, one in whom the 
Chakra (the discus of Vishnu) abides (vartate); such a figure being 
delineated by the lines of the hand. The grammatical etymology 
is: 'He who abides in, or rules over, an extensive territoiy called 
a Chakra.' 

* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., pp. 60-63. 


The mighty Prithu, the son of Vena, being thus in- 
vested with universal dominion by those who w^ere 
skilled in the rite, soon removed the grievances of the 
people whom his father had oppressed; and, from win- 
ning their affections, he derived the title of Raja or 
king/ The waters became solid, when he traversed 
the ocean: the mountains opened him a path: his ban- 
ner passed unbroken (through the forests): the earth 
needed not cultivation; and, at a thought, food was 
prepared: all kine were like the cow of plenty: honey 
was stored in every flower. At the sacrifice of the 
birth of Prithu, w^hich was performed by Brahma, the 
intelligent Suta (herald or bard) was produced, in the 
juice of the moon-plant, on the very birth-day.^ At 
that great sacrifice also was produced the accomplished 
Magadha. And the holy sages said to these two per- 
sons: "Praise ye the king Prithu, the illustrious son 
of Vena. For this is your especial function, and here is 
a fit subject for your praise." But they respectfully 
replied to the Brahmans: "We know not the acts of 
the new-born king of the earth. His merits are not 
understood by us: his fame is not spread abroad. In- 
form us upon what subject w^e may dilate in his praise.'' 
"Praise the king", said the Rishis, "for the acts this 

' From Raga ('^^), 'passion' or 'affection.' But the more 
obvious etymology is Raj (xj^), 'to shine' or 'be splendid.' 

' The birth of Prithu is to be considered as the sacrifice, of 
which Brahma, the creator, was the performer. But, in other 
places, as in the Padma, it is considered that an actual sacrificial 
rite was celebrated, at which the first encomiasts were produced. 
The Bhagavata does not account for their appearance. 


heroic monarch will perform: praise him for the virtues 
he will display." 

The king, hearing these words, was much pleased, 
and reflected, that persons acquire commendation by 
virtuous actions, and that, consequently, his virtuous 
conduct would be the theme of the eulogium which 
the bards were about to pronounce. Whatever merits, 
then, they should panegyrize, in their encomium, he 
determined that he would endeavour to acquire; and,, 
if they should point out what faults ought to be avoided, 
he would try to shun them. He, therefore, listened 
attentively, as the sweet-voiced encomiasts celebrated 
the future virtues ofPrithu, the enlightened son of Vena. 

"The king is a speakei* of truth, bounteous, an ob- 
server of his promises. He is wise, benevolent, patient, 
valiant, and a terror to the wicked. He knows his 
duties ; he acknowledges services ; he is compassionate 
and kind-spoken. He respects the venerable; he per- 
forms sacrifices; he reverences the Brahmans. He 
cherishes the good, and, in administering justice, is 
indifferent to friend or foe." 

The virtues thus celebrated by the Suta and the 
Magadha were cherished in the remembrance of the 
Raja, and practised, by him, when occasion arose. Pro- 
tecting this earth, the monarch performed many great 
sacrificial ceremonies, accompanied by liberal dona- 
tions. His subjects soon approached him, suffering 
from the famine by which they were afflicted; as all 
the edible plants had perished during the season of 
anarchy. In reply to his question of the cause of their 
coming, they told him that, in the interval in which 
the earth was without a king, all vegetable products 


had been withheld, and that, consequently, the people 
had perished. "Thou", said they, "art the bestower 
of subsistence to us: thou art appointed, by the creator, 
the protector of the people. Grant us vegetables, the 
support of the lives of thy subjects, who are perishing 
with hunger." 

On hearing this, Prithu took up his divine bow Aja- 
gava, and his celestial arrows, and, in great wrath, 
marched forth to assail the Earth. Earth, assuming 
the figure of a cow, fled hastily from him, and traversed, 
through fear of the king, the regions of Brahma and 
the heavenly spheres. But, wherever went the sup- 
porter of living things, there she beheld Vainya with 
uplifted weapons. A.t last, trembling (with terror), and 
anxious to escape his arrows, the Earth addressed 
Prithu, the hero of resistless prowess. "Know you 
not, king of men", said the Earth, "the sin of killing 
a female, that you thus perseveringly seek to slay me?" 
The prince replied: "When the happiness of many is 
secured by the destruction of one malignant being, the 
death of that being is an act of virtue." "But", said 
the Earth, "if, in order to promote the welfare of your 
subjects, you put an end to me, whence, best of mon- 
archs, will thy people derive their support?" "Dis- 
obedient to my rule", rejoined Prithu, "if I destroy 
thee, I will support my people by the efficacy of my 
own devotions." Then the Earth, overcome with ap- 
prehension, and trembling in every limb, respectfully 
saluted the king, and thus spake: "All undertakings 
are successful, if suitable means of effecting them are 
employed. I will impart to you means of success, 
which you can make use of, if you please. All vege- 

BOOK I., CHAP. xiir. 187 

table products are old, and destroyed by me: but, at 
your command, I will restore them, as developed from 
my milk. Do you, therefore, for the benefit of mankind, 
most virtuous of princes, give me that calf by which 
I may be able to secrete milk. Make, also, all places 
level, so that I may cause my milk, the seed of all 
vegetation, to flow everywhere around." 

Prithu, accordingly, uprooted the mountains, by 
hundreds and thousands, for myriads of leagues; and 
they were, thenceforth, piled upon one another. Before 
his time there were no defined boundaries of villages 
or towns, upon the irregular surface of the earth; there 
was no cultivation, no pasture, no agriculture, no high- 
way for merchants. All these things (or all civilization) 
originated in the reign of Prithu. Where the ground 
was made level, the king induced his subjects to take 
up their abode. Before his time, also, the fruits and 
roots which constituted the food of the people were 
procured with great difficulty; all vegetables having 
been destroyed: and he, therefore, having made Swa- 
yahibhuva Manu the calf,^ milked the Earth, and re- 

' 'Having willed or determined the Manu Swayambhuva to 
be the calf:' 

So the Padma Puraria: 

* -sc- « * « -jf «• 'if ^R^ fr"^rr: 3rifif%rri'Rr i 

The Bhagavata* has: '^(^ IRTT T^T^ I 'Having made the Manu 
the calf.' By the 'calf, or Manu in that character, is typified, 
the commentator observes, the promoter of the multiplication of 
progeny: Tr^'RrnT'R3T^<^cR | 

* IV., 18, 12. 


ceived the milk into his own hand, for the benefit of 
mankind. Thence proceeded all kinds of corn and 
vegetables upon which people subsist now and per- 
petually. By granting life to the Earth, Prithu was 
as her father; and she thence derived the patronymic 
appellation Prithivi (the daughter of Prithu). Then 
the gods, the sages, the demons, the Rakshasas, the 
Gandharvas, Yakshas, Pitris, serpents, mountains, and 
trees, took a milking vessel suited to their kind, and 
milked the earth of appropriate milk. And the milker 
and the calf were both peculiar to their own species. ^ 

' The Matsya, Brahma, Bhagavata, and Padma enter into a 
greater detail of this milking, specifiying, typically, the calf, the 
milker, the milk, and the vessel. Thus, according to the Matsya, 
the Rishis milked the earth through Brihaspati; their calf was 
Soma; the Vedas were the vessel; and the milk was devotion. 
When the gods milked the earth, the milker was Mitra (the sun); 
Indra was the calf; superhuman power was the produce. The 
gods had a gold, the Pitris, a silver, vessel: and, for the latter, 
the milker was Antaka (death); Yama was the calf; the milk 
was Swadha or oblation. The Nagas or snake-gods had a gourd 
for their pail ; their calf was Takshaka; Dhi'itarashtra (the serpent) 
was their milker; and their milk was poison. For the Asuras, 
Maya was the milk; Virochana, the son of Prahlada, was the 
calf; the milker was Dwimtirdhan ; and the vessel was of iron. 
The Yakshas made Vaisravaiia their calf; their vessel was of 
unbaked earth; the milk was the power of disappearing. The 
Rakshasas and others employed Raupyanabha as the milker; 
their calf was Sumalin ; and their milk was blood. Chitraratha 
was the calf, Yasuruchi, the milker, of the Gandharvas and nymphs, 
who milked fragrant odours into a cup of lotos-leaves. On behalf 
of the mountains, Meru was the milker; Himavat, the calf; the 
pail was of crystal; and the milk was of herbs and gems. The 
trees extracted sap in a vessel of the Palasa; the Sal being the 

BOOK I., CHAP. XIII. ^ 189 

This Earth — the mother, the nurse, the receptacle, 
and nourisher, of all existent things— was produced from 

milker, and the Plaksha, the calf. The descriptions that occur 
in the Bhagavata, * Padma, and Brahma Purarias are, occasionally, 
slightly varied; but they are, for the most part, in the same 
words as that of the Matsya. These mystifications are, all, 
probably, subsequent modifications of the original simple allegory, 
which typified the earth as a cow, who yielded to every class of 
beings the milk they desired, or the object of their wishes. 

' The account given in the Bhdgavata-pvrdna — lY., 18, 12-27 — is iu 
these words: 

^(^ ^^wf?r m^T T?-5r5:w^H^ ^f% ii 
w^ ^m fTTxrr x^ ^'r^l^li^ i 
flT^T^'T TRTir ^-^ift^ ^ XT^: Ii 

^c^ f^^T^f m^T W[^^ TT^^^^^PFC II 
^^ f^fTTt>J^«!rT W^ ^T^^fT I 
^jixTR »r^T^^ ^^^T ^irl^riT: II 

"ftrf^ ^^ftr f^^t ^ ^ =^ f^^-RTT^^r: II 

W^ TT^^W ^t^W ^l^^TWT^^ft^ It 

^^^^ ^^^^T : ^m 'TT^T^ w^wi. I 
ti^^ ^^^ ^^K ^f?r ij^T '^ ^^iqji; I 


the sole of the foot of Vishnu. And thus was born 
the mighty Pfithu, the heroic son of Vena, who was 

f^^twr f^^^T^t ^T^T^W ^ II 

^h:^(^t ■^'TWfT^: ^^^^TT^ v^: I 

t^^ ff^^^^c^ TRT^T^^^T^ II 

^ ^^5X5r^<%'i # ^ TR ^^^q^: I 
^^T^^ ^fi ^^^: ^^HTmrn^ II 
Tj^ ^^: Yf^TTWT^T: ^w^T-raRt i 
^f ^(^Tf^^^ ^T»T^ f^^f II 

Burnoufs translation of this passage is as follows: 

"Se conformant au conseil amical et utile de la terre, le roi lui donna 
pour veau le Manu, et se mettant a la traire de sa main, il en tira 
toutes les plantes annuelles. 

"C'est ainsi que d'autres sages ont su, comme ce roi, retirer de toutes 
choses une substance precieuse; les autres etres vinrent egalement traire, 
selon leurs desirs, la terre soumise par Prithu. 

"Les Richis, 6 sage excellent, lui donnant Brihaspati pour veau, -vinrent 
aussi traire la vache divine; leurs orgaues etaient le vase dans lequel 
ils re(;urent le pur lait des chants sacres. 

"Les troupes des Suras, lui amenant Indra comme veau, eu tirerent 
le Soma, ce lait qui donne la force, I'energie, la vigueur, et le re^urent 
dans un vase d'or. 

"Les Daityas et les Danavas, prenant comme veau Prahrada, chef des 
Asuras, vinrent la traire, et re^urent dans un vase de fer le lait des 
liqueurs spiritueuses et des sues fermentes. 

"Les Gandharvas et les Apsaras, prenant un lotus pour vase, vinrent 
aussi traire la vache; Vi^vavasu fut le veau; le lait fut la douceur de 
la voix et la beaute des Gandharvas. 

"Les Pitris, dont Aryaman etait le veau, eurent pour lait I'ofi'rande 
qu'on presente aux Manes; les Divinites des funeraiUes, 6 grand sage, la 
recueillirent avec foi dans un vase dargile crue. 

"Kapila fut le veau des Siddhas et des Vidyadharas; le ciel fut le 
vase dans lequel ils reijurent les charmes et la puissance surnaturelle 
qui consiste dans I'acte seul de la volonte. 

"D'autres Dieux livres a la magie, prenant Maya pour veau, re(;urent 
la Maya, simple acte de la reflexion, que connaissent les etres merveilleux 
qui peuvent disparaitre a leur gre. 

"Les Yakchas, les Rakchasas, les Bhutas, les Pi(;atchas et les Demons 
qui se nourrissent de chair, prirent pour veau le chef des Bhutas, et 
re9ureQt dans un cr&ne le sang dont ils s'enivrent. 

BOOK I., CHAP. xiri. 191 

the lord of the earth, and who, from concihating the 
affections of the people, was the first ruler to whom 
the title of Raja was ascribed. Whoever shall recite 
this story of the birth of Prithu, the son of Vena, shall 
never suffer any retribution for the evil he may have 
committed. And such is the virtue of the tale of 
Pfithu's birth, that those who hear it repeated shall 
be relieved from affliction.^ 

' Another reading is, ^I^^Xj^^f •?:- * ^ ^SR^tf^ I 'It 

counteracts evil dreams.' The legend of Prithu is briefly given 
in the Mahabharata, Raja Dharma, and occurs in most of the 
Purarias, but in greatest detail in our text, in the Bhagavata, and, 
especially, in the Padma, Bhumi Kharida, s. 29, 30. All the 
versions, however, are, essentially, the same. 

"Les reptiles, les serpents, les auimaux venimeux, les Nagas prirent 
Takchaka pour veau, et re^urent dans leur bouche le poison qu'ils avaient 
trait de la vache. 

"Prenant pour veau le taureau, et pour vase les forets, les bestiaux 
re^urent Therbe des paturages. Accompagnees du roi des animaux, les 
betes feroces, 

"Qui se nourrissent de chair, prirent la viande chacune dans leur corps; 
et les volatiles, amenant comme veau Supariia, eurent pour leur part 
I'insecte qui se meut et le fruit immobile. 

. "Les arbres, rois des forets, prenant le figuier pour veau, recueillirent 
chacun le lait de leur propre seve; les niontagnes , amenant I'Himavat, 
recueillirent chacune sur leurs somniets les uietaux varies. 

"Toutes les creatures enfin, prenant comme veau le chef de leur espece, 
re^urent chacune dans leur vase le lait qu'elles etaient venues traire de 
la vache, mere feconde de tons biens, qu'avait domptee Prithu. 

"C'est ainsi, 6 descendant de Kuru, que Prithu et les autres etres, 
avides de nourriture, trouverent tous d'excellents aliments dans les diverses 
especes de lait qu'ils re(jurent, en presentant chacun a la terre son veau 
et son vase." 


Descendants of Prithu. Legend of the Prachetasas : they are de- 
sired, by their father, to multiply mankind, by worshipping 
Vishnu: they plunge into the sea, and meditate on and praise 
him: he appears, and grants their wishes. 

Prithu had two valiant sons, Antardhi and Palin 

The son of Antardhana, by his wife Sikhandini, was 
Havirdhana, to whom Dhishana, a princess of the race 
of Agni, bore six sons: Prachinabarhis, Sukra, Gaya, 

' The text of the Vayu and Brahma (or Hari Variisa) read, 
like that of the Vishnu: 

M. Langlois* understands the two last words as a compound 
epithet: "Et jouirent du pouvoir de se rendre invisibles." The 
construction would admit of such a sense :f but it seems more 
probable that they are intended for names. The lineage of Prithu 
is immediately continued through one of them, Antardhana, which 
is the same as Antardhi; as the commentator states, with regard 
to that appellation: '^J«fftV^^T«tT^«T t I and as the commentator 
on the Hari Vaiiisa remarks, of the succeeding name: '^•iT^ITTT- 
^«?TtV^"SjlfV, I 'One of the brothers being called Antardhana 
or Antardhi' leaves no other sense for Palin but that of a proper 
name. The Bhagavata+ gives Prithu five sons: Vijitaswa, Dhiimra- 
kesa, Haryaksha, Draviria, and Vrika; and adds, § that the elder 
was also named Antardhana , in consequence of having obtained, 
from Indra, the power of making himself invisible : 

♦ Vol. I., p. 10. 

t The alternative sense implies, rather, that they had the disposition 
to render themselves invisible. 
: IV., 22, 54. 
§ IV., 24, 3. 


Krishna, Vraja, and Ajina.' The first of these was a 
mighty prince and patriarch, by whom mankind was 
multipUed after tlie death of Havirdhana. He was 
called Prachinabarhis, from his placing upon the earth 
the sacred grass, pointing to the east.^ At the termina- 

' The Bhagavata, as usual, modifies this genealogy. Antar- 
dhana has, by Sikhandini, three sons, who were the three fires, 
Pavaka,Pavamana, and Suchi," condemned, by a curse ofVasishtha, 
to be born again. By another wife, Nabhaswati , he has Havir- 
dhana, whose sons are the samef as those of the text; only 
giving another name, Barhishad, as well as Prachinabarhis, to 
the first. According to the Mahabharata (Moksha Dharma), which 
has been followed by the Padma Purana, Prachinabarhis was 
born in the family of Atri: 

^f%^% ^^rq^ WW^f^- ^sfTfT^: I 

m^'Rffif'Tm^ II 

- The text is, 

Kusa or Barhis is, properly, 'sacrificial grass' (Poa) ; and Prachi- 
nagra, literally, 'having its tips towards the east'; the direction 
in which it should be placed upon the ground , as a seat for the 
gods, on occasion of offerings made to them. The name, there- 
fore, intimates either that the practice originated with him, or, 
as the commentator explains it, that he was exceedingly devout, 
offering sacrifices, or invoking the gods, everywhere: ^^"^ "^tTT- 
•f¥Hlr(, I The Hari Variisa! adds a verse to that of our texr, 

reading : 

* Bhagavata- purana, IV., 24, 4. At IV., 1, 59, they are spoken of 
as sons of Agni by Swaha. And see pp. 155 and 156, supra. 

t The Bhdgavata-purdna, IV., 24, 8, gives their names as follows: 
Barhishad, Gaya, Sukla, Krishna, Satya, and Jitavrata. 

X Stanza 85. 

I. 13 


tion of a rigid penance, he married Savarna, the daugh- 
ter of the ocean, who had been previously betrothed 

which M. Langlois* has rendered: ' Quand il marchait sur la 
terre, les pointes de cousa etaient courbees vers Forient'; which 
he supposes to mean, 'que ce prince avait tourne ses pensees et 
porte sa domination vers Test:" a supposition that might have 
been obviated by a little further consideration of the verse of 
Manuf to which he refers: "If he have sitten on culms of kusa, 
with their points toward the east, and be purified by rubbing that 
holy grass on both his hands, and be further prepared by three 
suppressions of breath, each equal, in time, to five short vowels, he 
then may fitly pronounce ow."t The commentary explains the 
passage as above, referring XTf^'^ rf^r^Tf^T!! t to "^ItT*. , not to 
tT"^; as: ■qf^TSTf rT^ Trnft^T^T: ^T: ^TtcT^RTftWt ^^: 

^^ iWT^: WM^Ti^^^Tf^^ ^T^^ I cirr: ^ irrftf ^ff : i 

' He was called Prachinabarhis , because his sacred grass , point- 
ing east, was going upon the very earth, or was spread over the 
whole earth.' § The text of the Bhagavata|| also explains clearly 
what is meant: 

'By whose sacred grass, pointing to the east, as he performed 
sacrifice after sacrifice, the whole earth, his sacrificial ground, 
was overspread.' IF 

• Vol. I., p. 10. t II., 75: 

+ This rendering, which is that of Sir William Jones, is not altogether 
in keeping with the commentary of Kulliika Bhat't'a. 

§ Rather: "On his laud the sacred grass, pointing towards the east, 
•was forthcoming on the face of the earth, as it were, that is to say, 
was filling the entire circuit of the earth. Hence he loas called Pra- 

II IV., 24, 10. 

^ Burnouf— Vol. II., Preface, p. III., note— renders thus: "C'est lui 
qui, faisant succeder les sacrifices aux sacrifices, couvrit de tiges de Ku(;a 

BOOK I., CHAP. XIV. 195 

to him, and who had, by the king, ten sons, who were 
all styled Prachetasas, and were skilled in military 
science. They all observed the same duties, practised 
religious austerities, and remained immersed in the 
bed of the sea for ten thousand years. 

Maitreya. — You can inform me, great sage, why 
the magnanimous Prachetasas engaged in penance in 
the waters of the sea. 

Parasara. — The sons of Prdchinabarhis were, ori- 
ginally, informed, by their father, who had been ap- 
pointed as a patriarch, and whose mind was intent on 
multiplying mankind, that he had been respectfully 
enjoined, by Brahma, the god of gods, to labour to 
this end, and that he had promised obedience. "Now, 
therefore", continued he, "do you, my sons, to oblige 
me, diligently promote the increase of the people : for 
the orders of the father of all creatures are entitled to 
respect." The sons of the king, having heard their 
father's words, replied: "So be it." But they then in- 
quired of him, as he could best explain it, by what 
means they might accomplish the augmentation of man- 
kind. He said to them: "Whoever worships Vishnu, 
the bestower of good, attains, undoubtedly, the object 
of his desires. There is no other mode. What further 
can I tell you? Adore, therefore, Govinda, who is Hari, 
the lord of all beings, in order to effect the increase 

dont les extremites regardaient rorient, la surface de la lerre, dont il 
faisait ainsi un terrain consacre." 

Also see the Bhdgavata-purdna, IV., 29, 49. 

S'ridhara Swamin's comment on IV., 24, 10, is as follows: "^^c^ ^^- 

^ifTfT^ ^^^HR ^TfTTTt t^rT^tfr ^^ '^Ttr: *d*s((M*nM TJ^ 


of the human race, if yon wish to sncceed. The eternal 
Purushottama is to be propitiated by him who wishes 
for virtue, wealth, enjoyment, or liberation. Adore 
him, the imperishable, by whom, when propitiated, the 
world was first created; and mankind will assuredly 
be multiplied." 

Thus instructed by their father, the ten Prachetasas 
plunged into the depths of the ocean, and, with minds 
wholly devoted to Narayana, the sovereign of the 
universe, who is beyond all worlds, were engrossed 
by religious austerity for ten thousand years. Remain- 
ing there, they, with fixed thoughts, praised Hari, who, 
when propitiated, confers on those who praise him all 
that they desire. 

Maitreya. — The excellent praises that the Prache- 
tasas addressed to Vishnu, whilst they stood in the 
deep, you, best of Munis, are qualified to repeat 
to me. 

Paras AR A, — Hear, Maitreya, the hymn which the 
Prachetasas, as they stood in the waters of the sea, 
sang, of old, to Govinda, their nature being identified 
with him: — 

"We bow to him whose glory is the perpetual theme 
of every speech; him first, him last; the supreme lord 
of the boundless world; who is primeval light; who is 
without his like; indivisible and infinite; the origin of 
all existent things, movable or stationary. To that 
supreme being who is one with time, whose first forms, 
though he be without form, are day and evening and 
night, be adoration! Glory to him, the life of all living 
things, who is the same with the moon, the receptacle 
of ambrosia, drunk daily by the gods and progenitors; 


to liim who is one with the sun, the cause of heat and 
cold and rain, who dissipates the gloom, and ilhiminates 
the sky with his radiance; to him who is one with 
earth, all-pervading, and the asylum of smell and other 
objects of sense, supporting the whole world by its 
solidity ! We adore that form of the deity Hari which 
is water, the womb of the world, the seed of all living 
beings. Glory to the mouth of the gods, the eater of 
the Havya; to the eater of the Kavya, the mouth of 
the progenitors; to Vishnu, who is identical with fire; 
to him who is one with air, the origin of ether, existing 
as the five vital airs in the body, causing constant vital 
action; to him who is identical with the atmosphere, 
pure, illimitable, shapeless, separating all creatures! 
Glory to Krishna, who is Brahma in the form of sen- 
sible objects; who is ever the direction of the faculties 
of sense! We offer salutation to that supreme Hari 
who is one with the senses, both subtile and substantial, 
the recipient of all impressions, the root of all know- 
ledge; to the universal soul, who, as internal intellect, 
delivers the impressions, received by the senses, to soul; 
to him who has the properties of Prakriti; in whom, 
without end, rest all things; from whom all things pro- 
ceed; and who is that into which all things resolve. 
We worship that Purushottoma, the god who is pure 
spirit, and who, without qualities, is ignorantly con- 
sidered as endowed with qualities. We adore that 
supreme Brahma, the ultimate condition of Vishnu, 
unproductive, unborn, pure, void of qualities, and free 
from accidents; who is neither high nor low, neither 
bulky nor minute, has neither shape, nor colour, nor 
shadow, nor substance, nor affection, nor body; who 


is neither ethereal nor susceptible of contact, smell, or 
taste; who has neither eyes, nor ears, nor motion, nor 
speech, nor breath, nor mind, nor name, nor race, nor 
enjoyment, nor splendour; who is without cause, with- 
out fear, without error, without fault, undecaying, 
immortal, free from passion, without sound, impercep- 
tible, inactive, independent of place or time, detached 
from all investing properties; but (illusively) exercising 
irresistible might, and identified with all beings, de- 
pendent upon none. Glory to that nature of Vishnu, 
which tongue cannot tell, nor has eye beheld!" 

Thus glorifying Vishnu, and intent in meditation on 
him, the Prachetasas passed ten thousand years of 
austerity in the vast ocean; on which, Hari, being 
pleased with them, appeared to them amidst the waters, 
of the complexion of the full-blown lotos-leaf. Behold- 
ing him mounted on the king of birds, (Garuda), the 
Prachetasas bowed down their heads in devout hom- 
age; when Vishnu said to them: "Receive the boon 
you have desired; fori, the giver of good, am content 
with you, and am present." The Prachetasas replied 
to him with reverence, and told him that the cause of 
their devotions was the command of their father to 
effect the multiplication of mankind. The god, having, 
accordingly, granted to them the object of their prayers, 
disappeared; and they came up from the water. 



p. VII., notes, 1. 4. So runs the stanza in the Matsya, Kurma, and 
other Puranas. The Mdrkandeya-purdna, in its concluding chapter, 
has the same, "with the exception of ^^ITt for '^1[I. The Vishi'm- 
piirdria, III., 6, 17, reads: 

For the second line, it gives, at VI., 8, 2: 

^^^^tTft %^ ^^<fr if^rf ^T^T I 
P. XXX., 11. 6 and 32. Read Bhiiuii Khanda. 
P. XLIL, 1. 18. Read Vena. 

P. XLV., notes, 1. 4. Read editor's note in p. LV., infra. 
P. LVII., notes, 1. 2. Read Venkat'a. 
P. LXIII., 1. 11. Read Swayambhii. 

P. LXVL, note, 1. 2. For ^ ^^^ (?) read ^R^Tjf. 
P. LXXXVII., 1. 2. "Durvasasa" is the reading of Professor Wilson's 
MS. But it is un grammatical. 

P. XCV., 11. 15 and 29. Read Satariipa. 
P CII., notes, 1. 4. Read Christa Sangita. 
P. CXXII,, 1. 2 ab infra. Read Maruts. 

P. 6. The Translator's note is here misnumbered. And the same is 

the case at pp. 19 and 34. 
P. 22, notes, 1. 2 ab infra. For p. 15 read p. 18. 
P. 25, notes, 1. 13. Professor Wilson must have adopted the following 

reading, that of a few MSS. which I have seen: 

Dr. Muir does the same, where he translates the stanza in which this 
line occurs. See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., p. 3, first foot-note. 
P. 25, notes, 1. 16. Read xp^^i^. 
P. 31, notes, 1. 5. Read: 

p. 36, note, 1. 9. Cudworth's very words are: "When this world was 
made, a certain sphere of flame or fire did first arise and encompass 
the air which surrounds this earth, (as a bark doth a tree)", &c. 
But both the Greek and the English are inadequately quoted. 

P. 44, Editor's note. I ought to have added, that the commentator's 
view approaches more nearly that of the translator than my own. 
His rendering, however, of "^rf^^ — which, in the Vedanta, is a 
stereotype epithet of Brahma — by chrlohK^f^mi makes it doubtful, 
to my mind, whether his interpretation is preferable to that which I 
have proposed. The commentary runs as follows: TTfT^Tf^ IT^^ 

200 COMiiriEXDA, &c. 

^f^^^^ ^dfT T"^ ^T^: I cT^T V^fcT: I ^ fT^, &<-•• and 
Tn:T^, &c, quoted at p 45. ^^ ^ TTirf?f f^^T^fTTf^ ^ 

Ig^^q^^li ^If ^^^^^Tf^f^^ f^f ^ Tf^ f^f ^- 
^^ I ^ ^T«S^^m(Jn, &c, rjnoted nt p 45. f^^rrt %1f^ ^^^^ 

The passage thus annotated will lie found translated in Original 
Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., p. 31, foot-note. 

P. 56, 1 5. Read NaraH 

P. 69, notes, 1. 12. Read I-aiu-ness. 

P 85, notes, 1 6. Referring to this place, T'rofessor Wilson has written: 
"M. Bnrnouf renders mstra, les prieres [mentales] qui sont comme la 
glaive; and, in a note in the Visln'iu Fnrdiia, 1 have translated the 
same expression of the Bhdgavata, 'the unaltered incantation'. But 
it may be doubted if this is quite correct. The difference between 
iastra and stoma seems to be , that one is recited , whether audibly 
or inaudibly; the other, sung.' Translation of the Rig-veda, Vol I., 
p. 22, note. 

P. 86, notes, 1. 16. Read '^l^W.Wl'^'* ■ L. '27. For SfjifT'ead '^•^'[. 

P. 110, notes, 1. 2 ah infra. The passage to which I refer is IV., 1, 40 
and 42. At III., 24, 23 and 24, as Professor Wilson says, Arundhati 
is married to Vasisht'ha, and Santi, to Atbarvan. 

P. Ill, notes, 1. 4. Read Dharma's. 

P. 124, notes, I. 6 ab infra. Read «*t^*^. 

P. 125, notes, 1. 3 ab infra. Read Vamacharins. 

P. 135, notes, 1. 3 ab infra. Read ^^%. 

P. 136, 1. 4. Read Sachi. 

P. 142, 1. 2. Read Maruts. Notes, 1. 6 ah infra. Read Savitri. ^ 

P. 152, notes, 1. 6 ab infra. What is really stated is, that Praiia had 
two sons, Vedasiras and Kavi ; and the latter was father of Usauas. 
See Burnouf's B/idgavata-pm'dna, Vol. II., Preface, pp VI-IX. 

P. 155, notes, 1. 13. Read Punya. 

P. 164, notes, I. 4. Read Dharana. 

P. 170, notes, I. 6, Read -tH'^W^. 

Berlin, printed by Unger brothers, Printers to the King. 






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OgarefT. Essai sur la Situation 
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Ogabeff. 12mo. Pp. 150, stitched, 3s. 

Our !^'orth-"West Frontier. With 
Map. 8vo. Pp. 20. Is. 1856. 

PartncrshiiJ, with Liiniited 
Liiahility. Reprinted with addi- 
tions, from The Westminster Review. 
New Series, No. viii., October, 1853. 
Post Svo., sewed, Is. 1854. 

Petruccelli. Preliminaires de la 
Question Romaine de M. Ed. About. 
Svo. Pp. XV. and 364. 7s. 6d. 

Policy of the Danish Govern- 
ment, and the " Misunder- 
standings'" A Key to the Budget 
Dispute. Svo. Pp. 74, sewed, Is. 1861. 

Pope's Rights and Wrongs. An 
Historical Sketch. 12mo. Pp. xiv. and 
97. 2s. 6d. 


Catalogue of Important Works. 

Ricliter. The Lifr of Jean Paul 
Fr. Richter. Compiled from various 
sources. Togetlier witli his Autobio- 
graphy, translated from the German. 
2 vols. Pp. xvii. and 465, paper in 
cover, 7s. 1845. 

Schimnielfennig. The War be- 
tween Turkey and Russia. A Mili- 
tary Sketch. By A. Schimmelfennig. 
8vo., 2s. 

Sclioelcher. Dangers to England 
OF THE Alliance with the Men of 
the Coup-d'EiAT. By Victor Schoel- 
cher, Reijresentative of the People. 
Pp. 190, l'2mo., sewed, 23. 

Serf (t!ie) and the Cossack ; or. 

Internal State of Russia. Second Edi- 
tion, revised and enlarged. 12mo., 
sewed, 6d. 

Sniitli. Local Self-Government anx> 
Centralization. The Characteristics 
of each ; and its Practical Tendencies 
as affecting Social, Moral, and Political 
Welfare and Progress. Including Com- 
prehensive Outlines of the English 
Constitution. With copious Index. By 
J. Toulmin Smith, Esq., Barrister-at- 
Law. Post 8vo. Pp. viii. and 409, 
cloth, 5s. 1851. 

"This is a valuable, because a thoughtful 
treatise upon one of the general subjects of 
theoretii'ai and practical politics. No one in all 
probability will give an absolute assentto all its 
conclusions, but the reader of Mr. Smith's volume 
will in any case be induced to give more weight 
to the important principle insisted on. ^ 'fail's 

" Embracing, with a vast range of constitu- 
tional learning, used in a singularly attractive 
form, an elaborate review of all the leading 
questions of our day." — Eclectic Review* 

"This is a book, therefore, of immediate in- 
terest, and one well worthy of the most studious 
consideration of every reformer; but it is also 
the onlj' complete and correct exposition we 
have of our political system; and we mistake 
much if it does not take its place in literature 
as our standard text-book of the constitution." 

" The special chapters on local self-govern- 
ment and centralization will be found chapters 
of the soundest practical philosophy; every page 
bearing the marks of profound and practical 

" The chapters on the crown, and on common 
law, and statute law, display a tlioroiigh know- 
ledge of constitutional law and history, and a 
vast body of learning is brought forward for 
popular information without the least parade or 

" Mr. Toulmin Smith has made a most valu- 
able contribution to English literature j for he 
has given the people a true account of their once 
glorious constitution ; more tlian that, he has 
given them a book replete with tlie soundest 
and most practical views of political philo- 
sophy."^ Weekltt News, 

" There is miich research, sound principle, and 
good logic in this book; and we can recommend 
it to the perusal of all who wish to attain a 
competent knowledge of tlie broad and lasting 
basis of English constitutional law and prac- 
tice." — Morning Advertiser, 

Smith. Social Aspects. By John 

Stores Smith, Author of "Mirabeau," 

a Life History. Post 8vo. Pp. iv. and 

258, cloth, 2s. 6d. 1850. 

I' This work is the production of a thoughtful 

inind, and of an ardent and eaniest spirit, and 

is well deserving of a perusal in txtenso by all 

those who reflect on so solemn and important a 

theme as the future destiny of their native 

country."— J/omtn<; Chronicle. 

" A work of whose merits we can hardly speak 
too hishXy."— Literary Gaxette. 

" This book has awakened in us manv painful 
thoughts and intense feelings. It is fearfully 
true— passionate in its upbraidings, unsparing in 
Its exposures-yet full of wisdom, and pervaded 
by an earnest. lo\ing spirit. The author sees 
things as they arc — too sad and too real for 
silence — and courageously tells of them v.-ith 
stem and honest truth. ..... We receive 

with pleasure a work so free from polite lispings, 
pretty theorizings, and canting progressionisms; 
speaking, as it does, earnest truth, fearlessly, 
but in love."^ -Voncon/ormist. 

Spellen (J. N.) The Inner Life of 
the House of Commons. 12mo. sd, 6d. 

Spencer. A Theory of Population, 
deduced from the general law of 
Animal Fertility. By Herbert Spen- 
cer, Author of "Social Statics." Re- 
published from the Westminster Review, 
for April, 1852, 8vo., paper cover, 
price Is. 

State Education Self De- 
feating. A Chapter from Social Sta- 
tics. By Herbert Spencer. Fifth 
Thousand. J2mo. Pp. 24, Is. 1851. 

Story. Life and Letters of Joseph 
Story, Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, and D.ine 
Professor of Law at Harvard Univer- 
sity. Edited by his Sou William W. 
Story. Two vols. Royal 8vo. Pp. xx. 
—1,250, cloth, 20s. 1851. 

" Greater than any Law Writer of which 
England can boast since the days of Black- 
stone." — Lm-d Campbell, in the h'ouse of Lords, 
April 7, 1813. 

" We look in vain over the legal literature of 
England for names to put in comparison with 
those of Livingstone, Kent, and Story. . . . 
After reading his (Judge Story's) Life and Mis- 
cellaneous Writings, there can be no difficulty 
in ac oiinting for liis personal influence and 
popularity."- &/(niw;-(7A Jieview. 

" The biography before us, written by his son, 
is admirably digested, and written in a style 
which sustains the attention to the last, and oc- 
casionally rises to true and striking eloquence." 
^Eclectic Seiiew. 

'■ The American Question. By 

WilliamW. Story. 8vo. Pp. 68, sewed. 
Is. 1862. 

Taney. The Opinion of the Hon. 
Roger Brooke Taney, Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Court of the United 
States in the Habeas Corpus Case of 
John Merrryman, of Baltimore County, 
Md. 8vo. Pp. 24, sewed. Is. 1861. 

Triibner <£• Co., 60, Paternoster Row. 


The Xlls;lits of Neutrals anil 
Helilg'ereilts, from a Modern Point 
of View. By a Civilian. 8vo., sewed, 

The Ri;;hts of SehleswlK-Hol§- 
tein and the Policy of £:iig- 
land. I'ublished by order of the 
Executive Committee of the German 
National Vereiu. 8vo. Pp. 54, stitched, 
Is. 1802. 

Thomson. The Autobioobaphy of 
AN Artizan. By Christopher Thom- 
son. Post 8vo. Pp. xil. and 408, cloth. 
6s. 1847. 

Three Experiments of Living. 

Within the Means. Up to the Means. 
Beyond the Means. Fcp. 8vo., orna- 
mental cover and gilt edges. Pp. 86, 
Is. 1848. 


(Classical Instruetion : Its 

UsK AND Abuse : reprinted from the 
Westminster Riview for October, 1853. 
Post 8vo. Pp. 72. Is. 1854. 

Jenkins (Jabez.) Vest Pocket Lex- 
icon ; an English Dictionary, of all ex- 
cept Familiar Words, including- the 

. principal Scientific and Technical 
Terms, and Foreign Moneys, Weights, 
arid Measures. Omitting- what every- 
body knows, and containing wliat 
everybody wants to know, and cannot 
readily find. 32mo. pp. 563. 2s. 6d. 

Piek (Dr. Edward.) On Memory, and 
the Rational Means of Improving it. 
12mo. Pp. 128. 2s. 6d. 

Watts and Doddrldi^e. Hymns 

FOR Children. Revised and altered, 
so as to render them of general use. 
By Dr. Watts. To which are added 
Hymns and other Religious Poetry for 
Children. By Dr. Doddridge. Ninth 
Edition. I2mo. Pp. 48, stiflf covers. 
6d. 1837. 

menke (Dr. T.) Orbis Antiqui De- 
scriptio, for the use of Schools ; cou- 
taiuiug 16 Maps engraved on Steel and 
coloured, with descriptive Letter-press. 
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Spruner's (Dr. Karl Von) Hist»rico- 
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Gener.ll History of Europe, and 4 Maps 
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the British Isles. Cloth lettered, 15s. ; 
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operation and the authority of the German 
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Gescnius' Hebrew Grammar. Trans- 
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ITlileniann'S Syriac Grammar. Trans- 
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Ahn's (Dr. F.) New, Practical, and Easy 
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Harkness (Albert, Ph. D.) Latin 
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Kiiliner (Dr. Raph). An Elementary 

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Dialoghi Inglesi ED Ita- 

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Canicrliii (E.) L'Eco Italiano ; a 
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Is. 6d. 

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Poetry of Germany. A 

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Trublier'S Series of German Plays, 
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German Master to the Royal Institu- 
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mann. Teacher of Modern Lan- 
guages. No. I. Der Vetter, Comedy in 
thi'ee Acts, by Roderick Benedix. 
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OeSilschlasrer'S German-English 
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Wolfram (Ludwig.) The German 
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Aim's (Dr. P.) New, Practical, and Easy 
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The Two Courses, in 1 vol. 12mo, 
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Manual of French and 

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Lie Brim's (L.) Materials for Trans- 
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Pruston (F. DE La.) Echo Franqais. 
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Nusjeiit's Improved French and Eng- 
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Dictionary. 24mo, cloth. 3s. 6d. 

Van Laim. Le?ons Gradcees de Tra- 
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Lessons in Translation and Reading, 
with Biographical Sketches, Annota- 
tions on History, Geography, Synonyms 
and Style, and a Dictionary of Words 
and Idioms. By Henry Van Laun. 
12mo. Pp. vi. and 476. 5s. 1862. 

Cornet (Julius). A Manual of Rus- 
sian AND English Conversation. 
12mo. 3s. 6d. 

Reiff (Ch. Ph.) Little Manual of 
the Russian Language. 12mo, sewed, 
2s. 6d. 


Aim. A Concise Grammar of the 
Dutch Language; with a Selection 
from the best Authors, iu Prose and 
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tion, and remodelled for the use of 
Eufflish Students. By Henry Van 
Laun. 12mo. Pp. 170, cloth, 3s. 6d. 


A practipal Grammar of Por- 
tuguese anil Eusli.sll, exhibiting 
in a Series of Exercises, in Double 
Translation, the Idiomatic Structure of 
both Languages, .as now wi'itten and 
spoken. Adapted to Ollendorff's Sys- 
tem by the Rev. Alexander J. D. 
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lish L.anguage iu that University. In 
one vol. 12mo, cloth, boards. 73. 

Truhner cD Co., 60, Paternoster Bow. 


Colloquial Portuguese, or The 

Words and Phrases of Every-Day 
Life. Compiled from Dictation and 
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Tourists and Visitors in Portugal, The 
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Aim (Dr. F.) A New Practical and 
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Cailena (Mariano Velasquez de la). 
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Cadeiia (Ramon Palenzuela y Juan 
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leer, escribir y hablar el Ingle.s, 
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Cadena. Clare al mismo. En 8vo. 6s. 

Hartzenbusch (J. E.) and T.,ein<i 

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I^Iorentin (M. de). a Sketch on the 
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Velasquez ami Sinionne. A New 

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Taylor's System of Sliortliand 
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American Bible Union. Revised 
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tion and Notes. By T. J. Conant. 
4to. Pp. XXX., and 1G6. 7s. 6d. 
Gospel by Matthew. The Common 
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Gospel by John. Ditto. 4to. Pp. xv. 

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Catalogue of Important Works. 

Beeston. The Tempobalities op the 
Established Church as they are and 
as tiiey might be ; collected from 
authentic Public Records. By William 
Beeston. 8vo. pp. 36, sewed. 1850. Is. 

Bible. The Holy Bible. First divi- 
sion the Pentateuch, or Five Books of 
Moses, according to the authorized 
version, with Notes, Critical, Practical, 
and Devotional. Edited by the Rev. 
Thomas Wilson, M.A., of Corpus 
Christi College, Cambridge. 4to. Part 
I. pp. vi. and 84 ; part 11. pp. 85 to 
176 ; part III. pp. 177 to 275, sewed. 
1853-4. each pt. 5s., the work compl. 20s. 

Campbell. New Religious Thoughts. 
By Douglas Campbell. Post Svo. Pp. 
xii . and 425, cloth. 1860. Bs. 6d. 

Conant (T. J., D.D.) The Meaning 
AND Use of Baptizein Philologically 
AND Historically Investigated. Svo. 
Pp. 164. 2s. 6d. 

Confessions (The) of a Catholic 
Priest. Post Svo. Pp. V. and 320, 

1858. 7s. 6s. 

Crosskey. A Defence op Religion. 
By Henry W. Crosskey. Pp. 48. 
12mo., sewed, Is. 1854. 

Foxton. The Priesthood and the 
People. By Frederick J. Foxton, 
A.B., Author of "Popular Christianity," 
etc. Svo. sewed, price Is. 6d. 

Fronde. The Book of Job. By J. A. 
Froude, M.A., late fellow of Exeter | 
College, Oxford. Reprinted from ' ' The 
Westminster Review." New Series, 
No. VII., October, 18i)3. 8d. 

Fulton. The Facts and Fallacies of 
the Sabbath Question considered 
Scripturally. By Henky Fulton. 
12mo. Pp. 108, cloth, limp. 1858. Is. 6d. 

Gcrvinus. The Mission of the Ger- 
man Catholics. By G. G. Gervinus, 
Profes.sor of History in the University 
of Heidelberg. Translated from the 
German. Post 8vo , sewed, Is. 1846. 

Giles. Hebrew Records. An Historical 
Enquiry concerning the Age, Author- 
ship, and Authenticity of the Old 
Testament. By the Rev. Dr. Giles, 
late Fellow of Corpus Christi College, 
Oxford. Second Edition. Svo. Pp. 356, 
cloth. 1853. 10s. 6d. 

Hennell The Early Christian an- 
ticipation OF AN approaching END OF 
THE World, and its bearing upon the 
Character of Christianity as a Divine 
Revelation. Including an investigation 

into the primitive meaning of the 
Antichrist and Man of Sin ; and an ex - 
amination of the argument of the 
Fifteenth Chapter of Gibbon. By 
Sara S. Hennell. 12mo. Pp. 13G., cloth, 
28. 6d. 
Hennell. An Essay on the Scepti- 
cal Tendency of Butler's "Analogy." 
By Sara S. Hennell. 12mo. Pp. 66. in 
paper cover. Is. 

Thoughts in Aid of Faith, 

Gathered chiefly from recent works 
in Theology and Philosophy. By Sara 
S. Hennell. Post Svo. Pp. 427, cloth. 
lOs. 6d. 
Hitchcock (Edward D.D.. LL.D.). 
Religious Lectures on Peculiar 
Phenomena of the Four Seasons. 
Delivered to the Students in Amiiurst 
College, in 1845-47-48-49. Pp. 72, 12ino., 
sewed, Is. 

Hunt. The Religion of the Heart. 

A Manual of Faith and Duty. By 

Leigh Hunt. Fcap. 8vo. 6s. 

Professor Newman has kindly permitted Mr. 
Chapman to print the following letter addressed 
to him: — 

" Mr. Lejph Hunt's little book has been very 
acceptable to me. I think there is in it all that 
tenderness of wisdom which is the peculiar pos- 
session and honour of advanced years. I pre- 
sume he regards his book as only a contribution 
to the Church of the Future, and the Litur<rical 
part of it as a mere sample. I feel with him 
that we cannot afford to abandon the old prin- 
ciple of a 'public recognition of common reli- 
gious sentiments ;' and I rejoice that one like 
him has taken the lead in pointing out the direc- 
tion in which we must look. 

(Signed^ F, W. Newman." 

" To the class of thinkers who are feelers also, 
to those whose soul is larger than mere logic can 
compass, and who habitually endeavour, on the 
wings of Imagination, to soar into regions which 
transcend reason, this beautiful book is ad- 
dressed. ... It cannot be read even as a book 
(and not accepting it as a rituaD without hu- 
manizing and enlarging the reader's mind."— 

" The ' Religion of the Heart' is a manual of 
aspiration, faith, and duty, conceived in the 
spirit of natural piety. ... It is the object of 
the book to supply one of those needs of the po- 
pular mind which the speculative rationalism is 
apt to neglect, to aid in the culture of sound 
habits and of reasonable religious affections. If 
the time has not yet arrived for the matured 
ritual of natural religion, the present endeavour 
will at least be regarded as a suggestion and 
help in that direction."— D'eiemiWcVr Heriew, 

'■ This volume deserves to be read by many to 
wliom,on other grounds, it may perhaps prove 
little acceptable, for the grave and thoughtful 
miVtter it contains, appealing to the heart of 
every truthful person. . . . Kindly emotions and 
a pure morality, a true sense of the beneficence 
of God and of "the beauty of creation, a height- 
tened sensibility that sliuns all contact with 
theoloiry, and shrinks only with too much dread 
from the hard dogmas of the pulpit.— make up 
the substance of this book, of wliieh the style 
throughout is exquisitely gentle and refined. . . . 
Mr. Hunt never, on any occasion, discredits, by 
his manner of stating his beliefs, the comprehen- 
sive charity which sustains them. The most 
rigidlv orthodox may read his book, and, passing 
over diversities of opinion, expressed always in 

Truhner <& Co., 60, Paternoster Row. 


a tone of gentle kindliness, may let his Iieart 
open to receive all that part (tlie main part) of 
Mr. Hunl'd religion, which is, in truth, the purest 
Christianity . " — Exam iiier. 

Mann. A Few THoroHTS for a Young 
Man. a Lecture delivered before the 
Boston Mercantile Library Association, 
on its 29th Anniversary. By Horace 
Mann, First Secretary of the Massa- 
chusetts Board of Education. Second 
Edition. Pp. 56, I6mo., sewed, 6d. 

Newman. A Histo'ry of the He- 
brew Monarchy from the Administra- 
tion of Samuel to the Babylonish 
Captivity. By Francis William New- 
man, formerly Fellow of Balliol College, 
Oxford, and Author of "The Soul; its 
Sn'-rows and Aspirations," etc. Second 
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The Vocation of Man. By 

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Life; or, the Doctrine of Religion. By 

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FOXton. Popular Cheistianttt ; its 
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meaning." — Spectator. 

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Xtasnins-"— Westminster Review Jan, 1, 1851. 

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„ Til. Theology of the Church. 

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Alphabetical Inde.x. 

Afghan (or Pushto). 




Arabic Ligatures. 


Archaic Characters. 


Assyrian Cuneiform. 


Bohemian (Czecliian). 



Cauarese (or Cama- 





Cyrillic (or Old Sla- 

Czechian (or Bohe- 











Greek Ligatures. 

Greek (Archaic). 
Gujerati (or Guze- 


Hebrew (Archaic). 
Hebrew (Rabbinical). 
Hebrew (Judaao-Ger- 

Hebrew (current hand). 

Italian (Old). 
Lettish. • 

Median Cuneiform. 
Modern Greek (or 

Old Slavonic (or 

Pal myreuian. 

Persian Cuneiform. 

Pushto (or Afghan). 
Romaic (or Modern 







Slavonic (Old). 

Sorbian (or Wendish). 








Wendish (or Sorbian). 


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A^asslz (Louis). An Essay on Clas- 
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Pickering. The Geographical Dis- 
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Sclatcr. Cat.\logue of a Collection 
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■ Vol. IT, 1860. 
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^1 12s. 
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[In the Press. 

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By John Chapman, M,D. 8vo,, sewed, 

Trubner <b Co., 60, Paternoster Row. 


Duilirlison (RoBLEv). A Dictionary 
OF Medical Science; containing a 
Concise Explanation of the Various 
Subjects and Terms of Anatomy, Phy- 
siology, Pathology, Hygiene, Thera- 
peutics, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Sur- 
gery, Obstetrics, Medical Jurispru- 
dence, Dentistry, &c. ; Notices of Cli- 
mate, and of MiueralWaters ; Formulae 
tor Officinal, Empirical, and Dietetic 
Preparations, &c. ; with French and 
other Synonymes. By Robley Dun- 
GLisoN, M.D., LL.D. Revised and very 
greatly enlarged. 8vo. pp. 292. 18s. 

Hecker (J. F. C, M.D.) The Epidemics 
OF THE Middle Ages. Translated by 
G. B. Babinoton, M.D., F.R.S. Third 
Edition, completed by the Author's 
Treatise on Child-Pilgrimages. 8vo, 
cloth, pp. 384, price 9s. 

Contents : — The Black Death— The 
Dancing Mania — The Sweating Sickness 
— Child Pilgrimages. 

This volume is one of the series published liy the 
Sydenham Society, and, as such, orijjinally issued 
to its members only. The work ha"V iug gone out 

of print, this new edition — the thir.l — has been 
undertaken by the present prnjirietors of tlic copy- 
right, witii the view not only of nieetinp the nu- 
merous demands from the class to which it was 
jirimal ily addressed by its learned author, but also 
for extending Its circulation to the general reader, 
to whom it had, heretofore, been all but inaccess- 
ible, owing to the peculiar mode of its publica- 
tion, and to whom it is believed it will be very 
acceptable, on account of the great and growing 
interest of its subject-matter, and tb.e elegant and 
successful treatment thereof. The volume is a 
verbatim rtprint from the scconil edition ; but its 
value has been enhanced by the addition of a 
paper on "Child-Pilgrimages, never liefore 
translated ; and the present edition is therefore 
the first and only one in the English language 
which contains all the contributions of Dr. 
Hecker to the history of medicine. 

Parrish (Edward). An Introduction 
TO Practical Pharmacy ; designed as 
a Text-Book for the Student, and as a 
Guide for the Physician and Pharma- 
ceutist. With many Formulas and Pre- 
scriptions. Second edition, greatly En- 
larged and Improved. With Two Hun- 
dred and Forty-six Illustrations. 8vo. 
pp. xxi. and 720. 1861. 15s. 

Sick CliaiHl»er (the), ismo. Pp.60, 
cloth. Is. 1846. 

Practical Science. 

Austin. Cements and their Com- 
pounds; or, A Practical Treatise of 
Calcareous and Hydraulic Cements, 
their Preparation, Application, and 
Use. Compiled from the highest au- 
thorities, and from the Author's own 
experience during a long period of pi'o- 
fessioual practice. To which is added 
Information on Limes and Cements. 
By James Gardner Austin. 12mo. 

[In the Press. 

Calvert. On Improvements and Pro- 
gress IN DvEiN' ; vnd Calico Printing 
since 1851. lUustratad with Numerous 
Specimens of Printed and Dyed Fa- 
brics. By Dr. F. Grace Calvert, 
F.R.S., F.C.S. A Lecture delivered 
before the Society of Arts. Revised 
and Enlarged by the Author. 12mo., 
pp.28, sewed. Is. 

O'Neill. Chemistry of Calico Print- 
ing, Dyeing, and Bleaching, including 
Silken, Woollen, and Mixed Goods, 
Practical and Theoretical. With co- 
pious references to original sources of 
information, and abridged .specifica- 
tions of the Patents connected with 
these subjects, for the years 1858 and 
1859. By Charles O'Neil. 8vo. Pp. 
XII., 408. 18s. 

Patersoil. Treatise on Military 
Drawing. With a Course of Progres- 
sive Plates. By Captain W. Paterson, 
Professor of Military Drawing, at the 
Royal Military College, Sandhurst. 
4to., boards. 


AUillone (Austin S.) A Critical Dic- 
tionary or English Literature, and 
British and Amer can Authors, from 
the Earliest Accounts "to the Middle 
of the Nineteenth Century. (Vol. I. is 
now published.) Two vols" imp. 8vo, 
cloth. To Subscribers, £1 16s. : to Non- 
subscribers, £2 8s. 

Berjeau (F. Ph.) Canticum Canti- 
coROM. Reprinted in Facsimile from 
the Scriverius Copy in the British Mu- 
seum ; with an Historical and Biblio- 
graphical Introduction. In folio, 64 pp. 
Only 150 copies printed, on stout tinted 
paper; bound in the antique style. 
£2 2s. 


Catalogue of Important Works. 

Caxton. The Game of Chess. A re- 
production of William Caxton's Game 
OP Chess, the first work printed in 
England. Small folio, bound in vellum, 
in the style of the period. Price £l Is. 

Frequently as we 'read of the works of Cax- 
ton, and the earlv English Printers, and of their 
black letter books, very few persons have ever 
had the opportunity of seeing any of these pro- 
ductions, and forming a proper estimate of the 
ingenuity and skill of those who first practised 
the " Noble Art of Printing." 

This reproduction of the first work printed by 
Caxton at Westminster, containing 23 woodcuts, 
is intended, in some measure, to supply this 
deficiency, and bring the present age into some- 
what greater intimacy with the Father of En- 
glish Printers. 

The type has been carefully imitated, and 
the cuts traced from the copy in the British 
Museum. The paper has also been made ex- 
pressly, as near as possible like the original. 

Delepierre. Analyse des Travaux 


LoNDREs. Par Octave Delepierre. 
Small 4to., laid paper, bound in the 
Roxburgh style. [In the Press.. 

(Only 250 copies will be printed). 

Histoire Litteraire 

DES PoTjs. 12mo, cloth. 5s. 

Edwards (Edward). Memoirs of Li- 
braries, together with a Practical 
Handbook of Librart Economy. Two 
vols, royal 8vo. Numerous Illustrations. 
Cloth. £2 83. 

Ditto, large paper, imperial 

Svo. £i 4s. 

Gutcnlier^ (John). First Master 
Printer, His Acts, and most remark- 
able Discourses, and his Death. From 
the German. By C. W. Svo, pp. 141. 
10s. 6d. 

Le Bibliomane. No. I., 8vo, pp. 20; 
No. II., pp. 20. 2s. each. 

NouTcUes Plaisaiites Recher- 


Farceurs. Svo. Pp. 53. IDs. 6d. 

Uricoechea (Ezeqdiel, Dr. , de Bogota, 
Nueva Granaia). Mapoteca Colom- 
biana : Catalogo be Todos los Mapas, 
Plano.9, Vistas, etc., relativos a la 
America-Espanola. Brazil, e Islas 
adyacentes. An-eglada cronologica- 
mente i precedida de una iutroduccion 
sobre la historia cartografica de Ame- 
rica. One vol. Svo, of 232 pages. 6s. 

Van de "Weyer. Les Opuscules de 
M. Sylvain Van de Weyer de 1823 
1861. Promifere Serie. Small 4to., printed 
with old face type, on laid paper, ex- 
pressly made for the purpose. Suit- 
ably bound in the Roxburgh style. 

[In the Press. 
(The Edition will consist of 300 copies only). 

LiUdewig (Hermann E.) The Litera- 
ture OP American Aboriginal Lan- 
guages. With Additions and Correc- 
tions by Professor Wm. W. Turner. 
Edited by Nicolas Trubner. Svo, fly 
and general Title, 2 leaves; Dr. Lude- 
wig's Preface, pp. v. — viii; Editor's 
Preface, pp. iv — xii ; Biographical Me- 
moir of Dr. Ludewig, pp. xiii,xiv ; and 
Introductory Bibliographical Notices, 
pp. xiv— xxiv, followed by List of Con- 
tents. Then follow Dr. Ludewig's Bib- 
liotheca Glottica, alphabetically ar- 
ranged, with Additions by the Editor, 
pp. 1—209 ; Professor Turner's Addi- 
tions, with those of the Editor to the 
same, also alphabetically arranged, pp. 
210—246; Index, pp. 247—256 ; and list 
of Errata, pp. 257, 258. One vol. hand- 
somely bound in cloth, price 10s. 6d. 
This work is intendeil to supply a great want, 
now that the study of Ethnology has proved that 
exotic languages are not mere curiosities, but es- 
sential and interesting parts of the natural history 
of man, forming one of the most curious links in 
the great chain of national affinities, defining as 
they do the reciprocity existing between man and 
the soil he lives upon. No one can venture to 
write the history of America without a knowledge 
of her aboriginal languages ; and unimportant as 
such researches may seem to men engaged in the 
mere bustling occupations of life, they will at 
least acknowledge that these records of the past, 
like the stem-lights of a departing ship, are the 
last glimmers of savage life, as it becomes ab- 
sorbed or recedes before the tide of civilization. 
Dr. Ludewig and Prof. Turner have made most di- 
ligeut use of the public and private collections in 
America, access to all of which was most liberally 
granted to them. This has placed at their disposal 
the labours of the American Missionaries, so little 
known on this side of the Atlantic that thev may 
be looked upon almost in the light of untrodden 
ground. But English and Contiuental libraries 
have also been ransacked ; and Dr. Ludewig kept 
up a constant and active correspondence mth 
scholars of " the Fatherland," as well as with men 
of similar tastes and pursuits in France, Spain, and 
Holland, determined to leave no stone unturned to 
render his labours as complete as possible. The 
volume, perfect in itself, is the first of an enlarged 
edition of Vater's " Liiiguarum totius orbis In- 
dex." The work has been noticed by the press of 
both Continents, and we may be permitted to refer 
particularly to tlie following 

Opinions of tfie Press. 

" This work, mainly the production of the late 
Herr Ludewig, a German, naturalized in America, 
is devoted to an account of the literature of the 
aboriguial languages of that country. It gives an 
alphabetical list of the various tribes" of whose lan- 
guages any record remains, and refers to the works, , 
papers, or manuscripts, in which such information 
may be found. The work has evidently been a 
labour of love ; and as no pains seem to have been 
spared by the editors. Prof. Turner and Mr. Trtlb- 
ner, in rendering the work as accurate and com- 
plete as possible, those who are most interested in 
its contents will be best able to judge of the labour 
and assiduity bestowed upon it by author, editors, 
and publisher."— ^l«Ac)KC«m, 5th April, 1858. 

" Tliis is the first instalment of a work which 
will be of the greatest value to philologists ; and is 
a compendium of the aboriginal languages of the 
American continents, and a digest of all the known 
literature bearing upon those languages. Mr. 
TrUbner's hand has been engaged passim^ and in 
his preface he lays claim to about one-sixth ot the 

Trubner*<h Co., 60, Paternoster Row. 


whole • and we have no doubt that the encourage- 
ment with which this portion of the work will bo 
received by scholars, will be such as to inspire Mr. 
TrUbner with sufficient confidence to perseverein 
his arduous and most honourable task." — ine 
Critic, 15th Dec, 1857. 

" Few would believe that a good octavo volume 
would be necessary to exhaust the subject ; yet so 
It is, and this handsome, usetul, and curious 
volume, carefully compiled by Mr. Ludewig, as- 
sisted by Professor Turner, and edited by the care- 
ful hand of Mr. TrUbner, the well-known pub- 
lisher, will be sure to find a place "> many li 
hTaiies."—Be7ifs Advertiser, 6th Nov., 1857. 

" The lovers of American liu^istics will find in 
the work of Mr. TrUbner scarcely any point 
omitted calculated to aid the comparative phi- 
lologer in tracing the various languages of the 
great Western Continent." — Galway Mercury, 
30th Jan., 1868. 

" Only those deeply versed in phUolcgical studies 
can appreciate this book at its full value. It shows 
that there are upwards of seven hundred and fifty 
aboriginal American languages." — Gentleman s 
Magazine, Feb. 1858. 

" The work contains an account of no fewer than 
seven hundred different aboriginal dialects of Ame- 
rica, Trith an introductorj- chapter of bibliographical 
information ; and under each dialect is an account 
of any grammars or other works illustrative ot it. 
—The Bookseller, Jan. \SbS. 

" We have here the list of monuments still exist- 
ing, of an almost innumerable series of langu^es 
and dialects of the American Continent. The 
greater part of Indian grammars and vocabularies 
exist only in MS., and were compiled chiefly by 
Missionaries of the Christian Church: and to Dr. 
Ludewig and Mr. TrUbner, we are, therefore, the 
more indebted for the great care with which they 
have pointed out where such are to be found, as 
well as for enumerating those which have been 
printed, either in a separate shape, in collections, 
or in vovages and travels, and elsewhere. — 
Leader, 11th Sept. 1858. 

" I have not time, nor is it my purpose, to go 
into a review of this admirable work, or to 
attempt to indicate the extent and value 01 its 
contents. It is, perhaps, enough to say, that apart 
from a concise but clear enumeration and notice ot 
the various general philological works which treat 
with greater or less fulness of American languages, 
or which incidentally touch upon their biblio- 
graphy, it contains not less than 256 closely- 
printed octavo pages of bibliographical notices of 
__ i,..i..w.^o ati' ni' the flbontrmal 

pnnteu ociavu pages ui u.k/i.v.„...p.. — - -- — --_ - 
grammars, vocabularies, etc., ot the aboriginal 
languages of America. It is a pecuUar and valuable 
feature of the work that not only the titles ot 
printed orpubUshed grammars or vocabularies are 
given, but also that unpublished or MS. works ot 
these kinds are noticed, in all cases where they are 
known to exist, but which have disappeared among 
the debris uf the suppressed convents and religious 
establishments of Spanish America."— ii.Cr^A9«'er, 
in a paper read b^orethe American Ethnolo- 
gical Society , r2th Jan., 1858. 

" In consequence of the death of the author be- 
fore he had finished the revisal of the work, it 
has been carefully examined by competent scho- 
lars, who have also made many valuable addi- 
tions." - American publishers' Circular, 30th 
Jan., 1858. 

" It contains 256 closely-printed pages of titles 
of printed books and manuscripts, and notices of 
American aboriginal languages, and embraces re - 
ferences to nearly all }hat has been written or pub- 
lished respecting them, whether in special works 
or incidentally in books of travel, periodicals, or 
proceedings of learned societies." — ^ew York 
Herald, 26th Jan., 1858. 

" The manner in which this contribution to the 
bibliography of American languages has been ex- 

ecuted, both by the author, Mr. Ludewig, and the 
able writers who have edited the work since his 
death, is spoken of in the highest terms by gen- 
tlemen most conversant with the subject." — 
American Historical Magazine, Vol. II., No. 5, 
May, 18.58. 

" Je terminerai en annon^ant le premier volume 
d'une publication appelee & reudre de grands ser- 
vices h. la phUologie compari^e et Ji la linguistique 
gen^rale. Je veux parler de la Bibliotheca Glot- 
tica, ouvrage devant renfemier la liste de tons les 
dictionnaires et de toutes les grammaircs des 
langues connues, tant imprimis que manuscnts. 
L'^diteur de eette preci.-use bibliographic est M. 
Nicolas TrUbner, dont le nom est honorablement 
comiu dans le monde oriental. Le premier volume 
est consacre aux idioraes Ani^ricaines ; le second 
doit traiter des langues de I'Inde. Le travail est 
fait avec le soin le plus consciencieux, et tera 
honntu th M. Nicolas TrUbner, surtout s'il pour- 
.suit son oeuvre avec la meme ardeur qu'il amise a 
le commencer." - L. Leon de Eosny. Revue 
de VOrient, Fevrier, 1858. 

" Mr. TrUbner's most important work on the 
bibliography of the aboriginal languages of Ame- 
rica is deserving of all praise, as eminently useftil 
to those who study that branch of literature. The 
value, too, of the book, and of the pains which its 
compilation must have cost, will not be lessened by 
the consideration that it is first in this field of lin- 
guistic literature ."-Pefermaim's Geographische 
Mittheilu»gen,i>. 79, Feb., 1858. 

" Undoubtedly thU volume of TrUbner's Bib- 
liotheca Glottica ranks amongst the most valuable 
additions which of late years have enriched our 
bibliographical literature. To us Gcnnans it is 
most gratifying, that the initiative has been taken 
by a German bookseller himself, one of the most 
intelligent and active of our countrymen abroad, 
to produce a work which has higher aims than 
mere pecuniary profit, and that he too, has la- 
boured at its production with his own hands : 
because daily it is becoming a circumstance ot 
rarer occurrence that, as in this case, it is a book- 
seller's primary object to serve the cause of lite- 
rature rather than to enrich himself." - P. Tromel, 
Borsenblatt, 4th Jan., 1858. 

"In the compilation of the work the editors 
have availed themselves not only of the labours 
of Vater, Barton, Duponceau, Gallatin, De Souza, 
and others, but also of the MS. sources left by the 
missionaries, and of many books of which even the 
library of the British Museum is deficient, and fur- 
nish the fullest account of the literature of no less 
than 525 languages. The value of the work, so ne- 
cessary to the study of ethnology, is greatly en- 
hanced by the addition of a good InAe-s.."— Berliner 
National-Zeitung, 22nd Nov., 1857. 

" The name of the author, to all those who are 
acquainted with his former works, and who know 
the thoroughness and profound character of his in- 
vestigations, is a sufficient guarantee that this work 
will be one of standard authoritj', and one that wUl 
fully answer the demands of the present time." — 
Pelzholdt's Anzeiger, Jan., 1858. 

" The chief merit of the editor and publisher is 
to have terminated the work carefully and lucidly 
in contents and form, and thus to have established 
a new and largely augmented edition of 'I ater's 
Linguarum totius orhis Index,' atter Professor 
JUlg's revision of 1847. In order to continue and 
complete this work the editor requires the_ assist- 
ance of all those who are acquainted with this new 
branch of science, and we sincerely hoiie it may be 
accorded to ]\\m:'—Mariazinfur die Literatur des 
Auslandes, No.ZS,- ISiS 

" As the general title of the book indicates, it 
will be extended to the languages of the Other 
continents, in case it meet with a favourable recep- 
tion, which we most cordially wish it. A.Jf. Pott, 
Preussische Jahrbucher, Vol. II.. part 1. 


Catalogue of Important Works. 

*' Cette compilation savante est sans contredit, le 
travail bibliopraphique le plus important que notre 
^poque ait vu surjrir sur les nations indiprenes de 
rAmerique."— jVouueHes Aiiiiales des Voyages, 
Avril, 1859. 

" La Bibliotheca Glottica, dont M. Nicolas 
TrUbner, a commence la publication, est un des 
livre» les plus, utiles qui aieiit jamais ^te rediges 
pour faciliter I'etude de la philologie comparee, 
Le premier tome de cette ^and biblio^aphie lin- 
guistique coinprend la liste textuelle de toutes les 
^ammaires, de tous les dictionnaires et des voca- 
bulaires ni&me les moins etendus qui out ete iin- 
primt^s dans les difterents dialectes des deux Ame- 
riques ; en outre, il fait connaitre les ouvrages 
nianuscrlts de la meme nature reiifenn^s dans les 
priiicipales bibliothfequos publiques et particuli&res. 
Ce travail a dft neccssiter de longnes et patientes 
recherches ; aussi merite-t-il d'attirer tout particu- 
li&rement I'attentiou des philolojrues. Puissent les 
autres volumes de cette biblioth&que etre redig'^s 
aVec le meme soin et se trouvcr bientot entre les 
mains de tous les savants auxquels ils peuvent 
rendre des services inapprt?ciables."'^i2ef «e -4me- 
ricaine et Orienialc, No. I., Oct. 1858. 

" To everj- fresh addition to the bibliography of 
lang^uage, of which we have a most admirable spe- 
cimen in this work, the thoughtful linguist will 
ever, as the great problem of the unity of human 
speech approaches towards its full solution, turn 
with increasing satisfaction and hope. 

" But Mr. Nicolas Trilbner, however, has per- 
haps, on the whole, done the liighest service of all 
to the philologer, tiy the publication of " The Li- 
terature of American Aboriginal Languages," He 
has, with the aid of Professor Turner, greatly en- 
larged, and at the same time most slulfully edited, 
the valuable materials acquired by Ills deceased 
friend H. Ludewig. We do not, indeed, at this 
moment, know any similar work deserving of full 
comparison with it. In its ample enumeration of 
important works of reference, and careful record 
of the most recent facts in the literature of its sub- 
ject, it, as might have been expected, greatly sur- 
passes JUlg's ' Vater,' valuable and trustworthy 
though that learned German's work undoubtedly 
is."— North British Review, No. 59, February, 

The Editor has also received most kind and en- 
couraguig letters respecting the work, from Sir 
George Grev, the Chevalier Bunsen, Dr. Th. 
GoIdstUcker' Mr. Watts (of the Museum), Pro- 
fessor A. Fr. Pott (of Halle), Dr. Julius Petzholt 
(of Dresden), Hofrath Dr. Grasse (of Dresden), M. 
F. F. do la Figaniere (of Lisbon), V.. Edwards (of 
Manchester), Dr. Max MUller (of Oxford), Dr, 
Buschmann (of Berlin), Dr. Jiilg (of Cracow), and 
other linguistic scholars. 

Trubner (Nicolas). Trubner's Bib- 
liographical Guide to American Li- 
terature: a Classed List of Books 
published in the United States of Ame- 
rica, from 1817 to 1857. With Bibliogra- 
phical Introduction, Notes, and Alpha- 
betical Index. Compiled and Edited by 
Nicolas TrUbner. In One vol. 8vo, of 
750 pages, half-bound, price 18s. 

This work, it is believed, is the first attempt to 
marshal the Literature of the United States of 
America during the last forty years, according to 
the generally received bibliographical canons. 
The Librarian will welcome it, no doubt, as a 
conqianiou volume to Brunet, Lowndes, and 
Ebert ; » hilst, to the bookseller, it will l)e a faith- 
ful guide to tlie American branch of English Lite- 
rature— a branch which, on account of its rapid in- 
crease and rising importance, begins to force itself 
daily more and more upon his attention. Nor will 

the work be of less interest to the man of letters 
inasmuch as it comprises complete Tables of Con- 
tents to all the more prominent Collections of the 
Americans, to the Journals, IViemoirs, Proceedings, 
and Transactions of their learned Societies-^nd 
thus furnishes an intelligible key to a department 
of American scientific activity' hitherto but imper- 
fectly known and understood' ia Europe. 

Opinio.vs of the Press. 

" It has been reserved for a foreigner to have 
compiled, for the benefit of European readers, a 
really trustworthy guide to Anglo-.American 
literature. This honourable distinction has been 
fairly won by Mr. Nicholas TrUbner. the intelli- 
gent and well-known publisher in Patemoster- 
row. That gentleman has succeeded in making 
a very valuable additon to bibliographical 
knowledge, in a quarter where it was much 
wanted."— £7H/)-fc.s«7 Reviexo, Jan., 1859. 

" ' Trubner's Bibliographical Guide to Ameri- 
can Literature' deserves praise for the great care 
with which it is prepared, and the wonderful 
amount of information contained in its pages. 
It is compiled and edited bv Mr. Nicholas 
TrUbner, the publisher, of Paternoster Row. It 
comprises a classified list of books published in 
the United States during the last forty years, 
with Bibliographical Introduction, Notes", and 
Alphabetical Index. The introduction is very 
elaborate and full of facts, and must be the work 
of a gentleman who has spared no pains in 
making himself master of all that is important 
in connection with American literature. It cer- 
tainly supplies much information not generally 
known in Europe." — Morning Star, January 31st, 

" Mr. TrUbner deserv-es much credit for being 
the first to arrange bibliography according to the 
received rules of the art. He began the labour 
in 1855, and the first volume was published in 
that year ; constituting, in fact, the earliest 
attempt, on this side of the Atlantic, to cata- 
logue American books. The present volume, of 
course, is enlarged, and is more perfect in every 
respect. The method of classification is exceed- 
in^lv clear and useful. 

' In short, it presents the actual state of litera- 
ture, as well as the course of its development, 
from the beginning. Into the subiect-matter ol 
this section we sliall have to look hereafter ; we 
are now simpl3' explaining the comjiosition of 
Mr. TrUbner's most valuable and useful book." 
—Spectator, February 5, 1859. 

" Mr. TrUbner's book is by far the most com- 
plete American bibliography that has yet ap- 
peared, and displays an amoimt of patience and 
research that does him infinite credit. We have 
tested the accuracy of the work upon several 
points demanding much care and inquiry, and 
the result has always been satisfactory." Our 
American bretliren cannot fail to feel "compli- 
mented by the production of this volume, which 
in quantity almost equals our own London cata- 
logue." -TAe .B"0.'.se7/e;-, February 24, 1859. 

" To say of this volume that it entirely fulfils 
the promise of its title-page, is posiibly the 
highest and most truthful commendation that 
can be awarded to it. Mr. TrUbner deserves, 
however, something beyond general praise for 
the patient and intelliL'eiit labour with whcih he 
has elaborated the earlier forms of the work into 
that which it now bears. What was once but a 
scanty volume, has now become magnified, imder 
his care, to one of considerable size : and what 
was once little better than a dry catalogue, may 
now take rank as a bibliographical work of first- 
rate importance. His position as an American 
literary agent has, doubtless, been very favour- 
able to Mr. Trtlbner, by throwing matter in his 
way : and he confesses, in his preface, that it is 
to this source that he is mainly indebted for the 
materials which have enabled him to construct 
the work before us. Mr. TrUbner's object in com- 

Triihier cfc Co., 60, Paternoster Row. 


piliTi" this book is, he states, two-fold : ' On the 
^ ne ifaud, to su^sest tlie necessity, ot a more per- 
tcet work of its 'kind by an American surroind- 
ed, as he necessarily woiild be *'"j "^^^, "^,"'*;'' 
aonliances- and, on the other, to supply to 
t' opeaTs 'a snide to Anglo,American 1. eratnre 
-a branch wKich, by its rapid rise a f mcrea.- 
ing importance, begins to torce H^elf more and 
mSre on our attention.' It is ''ery modest m Mr 
Trubner thus to treat, his work as a mere s- 
eestion for others. It is much more than this : 
ft is an example which those who attempt to do 
an vth ng m^e complete cannot do better than to 
follow a model, which they will do well to 
conv if they would combine tuluess ot material 
^tS' that admirable, order and arrangement 
which so facilitates reference, and without w luch 
a work of this sort is all but useless. 

" All honour, then, to the literature of Yoiing 
America — for young she still is, and let her 
t^l^nk her s?Ls for !t-and allhonour also to 
Mr Trubner, for taking so much pains to make 
us acquainted with iV'-The Critic, March 19, 
1859. ,, 

" This is not only a very useful, because well 
executed, bibliographical work- it is also a work 
of much nterest to all who are connected wit 
literature. The bulk of it consists of a classihed 
list, with date of publication, sj^f- /nd pnce ot 
all the works, original or translated, which hafe 
appeared in the '^United States d»?"i| "^lifli 
forty years ; and an alphabetical index facili- 
tates reference to any particular work or author. 
On the merits of this'i^Srtion of the work w^ can 
not, of course, be expected to form a JV^gment. 
It would reciuire something of the special erudi- 
tion of Mr. Trubner himself, to say how far he 
ha succeeded or fallen short of his undertaking 
—how few, or how many, have been his omis- 
sions There is one indication, however, of his 
careful minuteness, which suggests the amount 
of labo " that must have been bestowed on the 
work— namely, the full enumeration of all.the 
Content of the various Transactions .and Scien- 
tific Journals. Thris, the 'Transact ons of the 
American Philosophical Society ■from the year 
1769 to 1857- no index to which has j et appearea 
in America-are in this work made easy of re- 
fereiice every paper of every volume being men- , 
tinned seriatim. \he naturalist who wishes t„ ] 
know what papers have appeared in the B..ston 
.Journal of Natural History during the last 
twenty years, that is, from Its commencement 
has only to glance over the five clpsely-prmted 
pa|eTo?this?guideto satisfy himself at once."- 
'Ihe Saturday Review, April i, 1859. 

" We have never seen a work on the national 
literature of a people more carefully, compiled 
than the p?esen^, and the bibliographical prole- 
gomena deserves attentive .perusal by aU who 
would study either the political or the 1 teiary 
history of the greatest republic ot the W est. - 
Theteader, March 26. 1859. 

" The subject of my letter to-day may seem to 
be of a purely literary character but I feel justi- 
fiorl tn claim a more general interest tor it. inai 
SbieSt i^fc^nnerted lith the good reputation of 
the United States abroad, ft is likewise con- 
nected with the general topic of my two former 
fetters I have spoken of the friends and the an- 
iagonits of the United States among European 
nations and among theditferent classes ot Euro- 
pean sodety. I have stated that the antagonists 

a?e chTefly to be found among the aristocracy, 
not only of birth, but ' of minS'- as it has been 
called-likewise ; not only among the privileged 
classes, and those connected with the Govern- 
ment interests, but among those who live in the 
sphere of literature and art,, and look dowm with 
contempt upon a society in which utilitarian 
motives are believed to ^c J'aramount. Aari I 
have asserted that, these differences m the opi- 
nfons of certain classes left aside, the Germans, 

as a whole, take a more lively and a deeper inte- 
rest £ American aftairs than any o^^her na on 

j^l^itiSi^r^^^^cc^: £^5ri.t 

"^•n^fjroil^ '^ ITooT S^h^ a.&rUbner 
& Co., of whose business transactions American 
Uteratnre, as well as literature o„ America, form 
1 nriurioal branch. It is the hrm wno nave 
fatelv rub ished the bibliography. of American 
aniua-^s Mr. Nicolas TrUbner is a German 
whfhafneveJ inhabited the United States, and 
vet he risks his time, labour, and money, in lite- 
mrv publications, for which even vain endeavours 
woulS iiave been made to find an American pub- 

du"tion,IJotes,andAlplmbetica I^^^ Com- 


luTOD^ is a country inhabited by a nation lost 
hi thi pursuit of material interest, a country in 
wlichTe technically aPP? cable teancdie of 
some sciences may be cultivated to a cenam 
ripTrpp hut a country essentially without iitera 
tnfe and art a country not witliout newspapers 

Sr\i^ Tefe^ ^^-r.Vu^n^eraVer'i^a;;! 
^omt on^^uii a'lfst of Am'^VTii^g^i^S 


?r"om whSh time%e fates the period of ^more 

decided literary independence ot the unitea 

^'"'since no native-born, and even no .adopted, 
AmeiSi, has taken the trouble of compibng, ar- 
^J^r,;„" < i.rpstin'' editing, and publishing such 
a woA° wfe elseTJut a Gl^man couldundertake 
ft^who else among the European nations would 
havT thought American literature worth the 
labour the° time, and the money.? and, let me 
add that a smaller work .of a similar character 
'The Literature of American .Local History, by 

of the AmericaTi public will ascribe but anin- 
ferior decree of interest to works of this kind. 
The mafSrity of the public of other nations will 
do thTtime as it cannot be everybody's business 
to nnde'rand the .usefulness of b.6lio»raphy 
and of books containing nothing but the enu- 
meration and description of booSs One thing 
however must be apparent : the deep interest 
tXenby some foreigners in some of the more 
ideal snheres of American life; and it it is true, 
that the clear historical insight into.its 
vefonineiit ideal as well as moterial, is one ot the 
most vauable acquisitions of a nation, future 
Tmerican generatsons will acknowledge the good 
fe?lTceT?f*those foreigiiers, who, by their literary 
nnnlication contributed to avert the. national 
calamftyofthe origin of the literary independ- 
enceTf America becoming veiled in darkness."- 
New York Daily Tribune, December, 1858. 

" Tt is remarkable and noteworthy that the 
mosfvalSe%ianual of American ite^^^^^^ 

Guide to American Literature is a work of ex- 
gai^dinafy skill and perseverance^ving an 
index to all the publications ot the American 
press ilr the last forty years." - /fa.i^e. s 
Weekly, March 26th, 1859 


Catalogue of Important Works. 

" Mr. TrUbner deserves all praise for having 
produced a work every way satisfactory. No one 
wlio takes an interest in the subject of which it 
treats can dispense with it ; and we have no 
doubt that booksellers in this country will learn 
to consider it necessary to them as a shop manual, 
and only second in importance, for the purposes 
of their trade, to the London Catalogue itself. 
That a foreigner, and a London bookseller, 
should have accomplished what Americans them- 
selves have failed to do, is most creditable to the 
compiler. The volume contains 149 pages of in- 
troductory matter, containing by far the best 
rerorn nr A t-na,.;/,^*, 1U»».,».^ i,:^* — * t. 

record of American literary history yet pub 
lished ; and 521 pases of classed lists of books, to 
which an alphabetical index of 33 pages is added. 
I his alphabetical index alone may claim to be 
one of the most valuable aids for enabling the 
student of literary history to form a just and 
perfect estimate of the great and rising im- 
portance of Anglo-American literature, the 
youngest and most untrammelled of all which 
illustrate the gradual development of the human 
mmd.."— The Press, Philadelphia, Oct. 11. 1858. 

"We do not so much express the wish by this 
notice, that Mr. TrUbner may not find a public 
ungrateful for his labour, as congratulate, espe- 
cially American Bibliophiles, upon the advan- 
tage withm their reach, by the acquisition and 
use of what Mr. TrUbner has so opportunely 
«uv\>i}ea.." —Washington National InteUioencer. 
March 22nd, 1859. 

"This volume contains a well-classified list of 
books published in the United States of America 
during the last forty years, preceded by a tole- 
rably full survey of American literary enter- 
prise during the first half of the nineteenth 
century, nie value of such a guide, in itself 
tolerably evident, becomes more so upon glanc- 
ing over the five hundred and forty pages of 
close print which display the literary activity 
pervading the coimtry of Prescott and Mottlev, 
o* Irving and Hawthorne, of Poe and Longfellow 
of Story and Wheaton, of Moses Stuart and 
Channing. This volume will be useful to the 
scholar, but to the librarian it is indispensable." 
—Daily Aeivs, JIarch 21, 1859. 

" There are hundreds of men of moderate 
scholarship who would gladly stand on some 
higher and more assiu-ed point. They feel that 
they have acquired much information, but they 
also feel the need of that subtle discipline, lite- 
rarv education, without which all mere learning 
IS the rudis indigesta moles, as much of a stum- 
bling-block as an aid. To those in such a con- 
dition, works on bibliography are invaluable 
lor direction in classifying all reading, whether 
English or American, Allibone's Dictionary is 
admirable ; but, for particular information as to 
the American side of the house, the recently 
published Bibliographical Guide to American 
Literature, by Nicolas TrUbner, of London, may 
be conscientiously commended. A careful pe- 
rusal of this truly remarkable work cannot foil 
to give any intelligent person a clear and com- 
plete Idea of the whole state of American book- 
making, not only in its literary aspect, but in its 
historical, and, added to this, m its most mecha- 
nical details."— PArtarfe^ijAa Evening Bulletin 
March 5th, 1859. i 

" But the best work on American bibliography 1 
yet published has come to us from London, 
?'.??.'''= It has been compiled by the well-known 
bibliophile, TrUbner. The work is remarkable 
lor condensation and accur.acy, though we have 
"o'cd a few errors and omissions, upon which we 
should like to comment, had we now space to do 
30."—New York Times, March 26th, 1859. 

" Some of our readers, whose attention has 
Been particularly called to scientific and literary 
rnatters, may remember meeting, some years 
since, in this country, a most intelligent fo- 
reigner, who visited the United States for tHe 
purpose of extending his business connections, 

and making a personal investigation into the 
condition of literature in the New World. Mr. 
Nicholas TrUbner— the gentleman to whom we 
have made reference — although bv birth a Ger- 
man, and by education and profession a London 
bookseller, could hardly be called a ' stranger in 
America,' for he had sent before him a most 
valuable 'letter of introduction,' in the shape of 
a carefully compiled register of American books 
and authors, entitled 'Bibliographical Guide 
to American Literature,' &c., pp. .xxxii., 108. 
This manual was the germ of the important 
publication, the title of which the reader will 
find at the commencement of this article, 
u^'' '," consequence of Mr. TrUbner's admi- 
rable classification and minute iudex, the in- 
quirer after knowledge has nothing to do but 
copy from the Bibliograpliical Guide the titles of 
the American books which he wishes to consult 
despatch them to his library by a messenger, and 
m a few minutes he has before him the coveted 
volumes, through whose means he hopes to 
enlarge his acquisitions. Undoubtedly it would 
be a cause of well-founded reproach, of deep mor- 
tification to every intelligent American, if the 
arduous labours of the learned editor and com- 
piler of this volume (whom we almost hesitate to 
call a foreigner), should fail to be appreciated in 
a country' to which he has, bv the preparation of 
this valuable work, proved himself so eminent a 
benefactor" — Pennsylvania Enquirer, March 

The editor of this volume has acquired a 
knowledge of the productions of the American 
press which is rarely exhibited on the other side 
ot the Atlantic, and which must command the 
admiration of the best informed students of the 
subject in this country. His former work on 
American bibliographv, though making no pre- 
tensions to completeness, was a valuable index 
to various branches of learning that had been 
successfully cultivated by our scholars ; but 
neither in comprehensiveness of plan nor tho- 
roughnessof execution, can it be compared to the 
elaborate and minute record of American lite- 
rature contained in this volume. The duty of 
the editor required extensive research, vigilant 
discrimination, and untiring diligence ; and in 
the performance of his task we are no less struck 
with the accuracy of detail than with the extent 
ot his information. The period to which the 
volume IS devoted, comprises only the last 
forty years ; but within that time the litera- 
ture of this country has received its most effi- 
cient impulses, and been widely unfolded in the 
various departments of intellectual activity- 
It we were permitted to speak in belialf of 
American scholars, we should not fail to congra- 
tulate Mr. TrUbner on the eminent success with 
i which he has accomplished his plan, and the 
I ample and impartial justice with which he has 
I registered the productions of our native author- 
: ship. After a careful examination of his vohmie, 
we are bound to exjiress our high appreciation of 
the intelligence, fairness,and industry which are 
I conspicuous in its jiages ; for exactness and pre- 
cision It IS no less remarkable, than for extent of 
research ; few, if any important pubUcations 
are omitted on its catalogue, and although as is 
[ inevitable in a work of this nature, an erroneous 
letter has sometimes crept into a name, or an 
erroneous figure into a date, no one can consult 
It habitually without learning to rely on its 
trustworthiness, as well as its completeness."— 
Harpers Magazine, April, 1859. 

" Nor is the book a tlry catalogue only of the 
names and contents of the publications oif Ame- 
rica. Prefixed to it are valuable bibliographical 
pro egomena, instructive to the antiquarv as 
well as useful to the philologist. In this portion 
?[ "J*^ ^'K'^' *^'"- TrUbner had the assistance of 
the late Dr. Ludewig, whose early death was a 
great loss to philological science. Mr. Moran- 
the assistant-secretary to the American Lega- 
tion, has added to the volume a historical sum 
mary of the literature of America ; and Mr' 

Trilhner <b Co., 60, Paternoster Mow. 


Edward Edwards is responsible for an interesting 
account of the puljlic libraries of the United 
States. To Mr. Trlibner's own careful superin- 
tendence and hard work, however, the student 
must ever remain indebted for one of the most 
useful and well-arranged books on bibliofira- 
iihical lore ever published. In addition to this, 
jt is right to congratulate Mr. TrUbner on the 
fact, that his present work confirms the opinion 
passed on his ' Bibliotheca Glottica,' that among 
the booksellers themselves honourable literary 
eminence may exist, without clashing with busi 
ness arrangeinents. The booksellers of old were 
authors, and Mr. TrUbner emulates their exam- 
ple." — Morning Chronicle, March 22, 1859. 

" Mr. TrUbner, who is not only a bibliopole 
but a bibliophile, has, in this work, materially 
increasedthe claim which he had already upon 
the respect of all book-lovers everywhere, but 
especially in the United Slates, to whose litera- 
ture he has now made so important and useful a 
contribution. So much larger than a former 
book, under a similar title, which he published 
in 1855. and %|^ much more ample in every 
respect, the present constitutes a new imjjlement 
for our libraries, as well as the most valuable ex- 
isting aid for those students who, without libra- 
ries, nave an interest in knowing their contents." 
—Baltimore American, 2nd April, 1859. 

" Lastly, published only the other day, Is 
Trlibner's Bibliographical Guide to American 
.],iteratxire, which gives a classed list of books 
published in the United States during the last 
forty years, with biblioCTaphical Introduction, 
notes, and alphabetical Index. This octavo 
volume has been compiled and edited by Mr. 
Nicholas TrUbner. the well-known head of one 
of the great foreign publishing and importing 
houses of London, who is also editor of Ludewig 
and Turner's Literature of American Aboriginal 
Languages. Besides containing a classed list of 
books, with an alphabetical index, Mr. TrUb- 
ner's book has an introduction, in which, at con- 
siderable fulness, he treats of the history of 
American literature, including newspapers, pe- 
riodicals, and public libraries. It is fair to slate 
that Mr. Trlibner's Bibliographical Guide was 
published subsequent to Allibonc's Dictionary, 
but printed oft' about the same time."— Philadel- 
phia Press, April 4th, 1859. 

" This is a valuable work for book buyers. 
For its compilation we are indebted to a foreign 
bibliomaniac, but one who has made liimself 
familiar with American literature, and has pos- 
sessed himself of the most ample sources of in- 
formation. The volume contains : — I. Biblio- 
graphical Prolegomena ; II. Contributions to- 

wards a history of American literature ; III 
Notices of Public Libraries of the United States 
These three heads form the introduction, and 
occupy one hundred and fifty pages. IV. Classed 
list of books ; V. Alphabetical list of authors. 
This plan is somewhat after that adopted in 
Watts' celebrated 'Bibliotheca Britannica,' a 
work of immense value, whose compilation oc- 
cupied some forty years. The classified portion 
of the present work enables the reader to find 
readily the names of all books on any one sub- 
ject. The alphabetical index of authors enables 
the reader to ascertain instantly the names of all i 
authors and of all their works, including the 
numerous periodical publications of the last 
forty years. Mr. TrUbner deserves the thanks of | 
the literary world for his plan, and its able exe- 
cution." — New Yolk Courier and Enquirer, 
April nth, 1859. 

" L'auteur, dans une preface de dix pages, ex- 
pose les idtes qui lui ont fait entreprendre son 
livre, et le plan qu'il a cru devoir adopter. Dans 
une savante introduction, il fait une revue 
critique des diiferents ouvrages relatifs a, I'Aine- 
rique ; il signale ceuxqui ont le plus coutribue Ji 
I'etablissement d'une littcrature sp(?ciale Am^ri- 
caiue, et il en fait Ihistoire, cette partie de son 
travail est destinee S, lui faire honneur, elle est 
methodiquement divisue en periode coloniale et 
en periode Americaine et renferme, sur les 
progres del' imprimerie en Amt'rique, sur le 
salaire des auteurs, sur le commerce de la li- 
brairie, les publications periodiques. des ren- 
seignemcnts trf^s interessants, que Ton est. 
houreux de trouver r^unis pour la premiere fois 
Cette introduction, qui n'a pas moins de 150 
pa2es, se termine par une table statistique de 
toutes les bibliotht'ques publiques des ditti5rents 
Etats de 1' Union. 

" Le catalogue m^thodique et raisonn^ des 
ouvrages n'occupe pas moins de 521 pages, il 
forme 32 sections consacr^es chacune b. I'une des 
branches des sciences humaines; celle <jui donne 
la liste des ouvrages qui interessent la geographic 
et les voyages (section xvi.) comprend pr&s de 
600 articles, et parmi eux on trouve I'indication 
de plusieurs ouvrages dout nous ne soup^onnions 
meme pas I'existence en Europe. Un index 
general alphabetique par noms d' auteurs qui 
termine ce livre, permet d'abreger des recherches 
souvent bien penibles. Le guide bibliographique 
de M. TrUbner est un monument iXevi h I'ac- 
tivilL' scientifique et litteraire Americaine et 
comme tel, il est digne de prendre place h cote 
des ouvrages du meme genre publics en Europe 
par les Brunei, les Lowndes, et les Ebert. (V. A. 
MaXte-Br-an)."—Notivelles Annales des Voyages, 
April, 1869. 


Cobl>e. An Essay on Intuitive Morals. 
Being an attempt to popularize Ethical 
Science. By Francis Tower Cobbe 
Part I. Theory of morals. Second 
Edition. Crown 8vo, Pp 296, cloth. 

Part II. Pbactice or Morals. Book 
I. Keligious Duty. Second Edition. 
Crown 8vo., cloth, in the Press. 

Sclater. Catalogue of a Collection 
of American Birds belonging to Mr. 
Philip Liksley Sclater, M.A., Th. Doc , 
F.K.S. Fellow of Corpus Christi College, 
Oxford ; Secretary to the Zoological So- 
ciety of London ; Editor of" The Ibis." 
8vo. Pp. 3-54, and 20 coloured Plates of 
Birds, cloth, 30s. 


Catalogue of Important Works. 

Rowan. Meditations on Death and 
Eternity. Translated from the Germau 
(by command) by Frederica Rowan. 
Published by Her Majesty's Gracious 
permission. In one volume, crown 8vo., 

Coinpte Rendu da Con^res 
International de bienfaisancc 
de Londres. TroislSme Session. 2 
volumes, 8vo. (one French, one English) 
III the Press. 

Paton. A History of the Egyptian 
Revolution, from the Period of the 
Mamelukes to the Death of Mohammed 
Ali ; from Arab and European Memoirs, 
Oral Tradition, and Local Research, 
By A. A. Paton, F.R G.S., Author of 
" Reseaixhes on the Danube and the 
Adriatic." Two volumes, 8vo, cloth. 

Ticknor. A History of Spanish 
Literature. Entirely rewritten. By 
George Ticknor. Three volumes, 
Crown 8vo., cloth. 

Parker. The Collected Works of 
Theodore Parker ; containing his 
Theological, Polemical, and Critical 
Writings, Sermons, Speeches, and Ad- 

dresses, and Literary Miscellanies. In 
Twelve Volumes, Crown 8vo., cloth. 

Renan. An Essay on the Age and 
Antiquity of the Book of Nabath^an 
Agriculture. To which is added an 
Inaugural Lecture on the position of 
the Shemitic Nations in the History of 
Civilization. By M. Ernest Renan, 
Membre de Tlnstitut. In one Volume. 
Crown 8vo., cloth. 

Bleek. A Comparative Grammar of 
South African L.\nguages. By Dr. 
W. H.I. Bleek. In one Volume, Crown 
8vo., cloth. 

"Wilson. Essays and Lectures 
chiefly on the Religion of the 
Hindus. By H. H. Wilson, M.A., 
F.R.S., late Boden Professor of San- 
skrit in the University of Oxford. 
Collected and Edited byDr. Reinhold 
RosT. Vol. II. * 

Wedgwood. A Dictionary of 
English Etymology. By Hensleigh 
Wedgwood, M.A., late Fellow of Christ 
College, Cambridge. (Volume II. — E, 
to P.) 8vo. .